The eastern migratory population of monarchs undertakes what is arguably the most dramatic example of insect migration known. Every year, three to five generations of monarch butterflies are needed to successfully complete their migration efforts spanning Mexico, United States and Canada and traverses thousands of miles.
Sadly, in recent decades, this migratory population has declined by more than 80% due to extensive loss of habitat throughout their breeding grounds and migratory path due to land-use changes
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Sept. 20, 2022 – Pollinators play a critical role in the production of most fruits and vegetables, and a great way to support them is by planting native plants. Bayer is helping the cause by giving away free native-plant seed packets through a new partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
Ever Wonder? …Whether monarchs are the only butterfly that migrate?Actually many butterflies migrate. In fact, many of the butterflies we see here in Missouri are migratory, including American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis), and Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia).Butterflies are insects and like all insects, they are cold-blooded; therefore, their body temperature is regulated by the external temperature of the air and surrounding conditions. As winter approaches, many butterflies must move southwards to overwinter in a warmer climate. But in Spring when temperatures warm, many butterflies migrate northward for more abundant food sources.However, to date, the Monarch butterfly is the only known North American insect to undertake such an extraordinary 3,000 mile migration.PhotosPicture 1: American Lady - David Cappaert, Bugwood.orgPicture 2: Painted Lady - Donna Brunet, Missouri Department of ConservationPicture 3: Question Mark - Kris Embry, Submitted to Missouri Department of ConservationPicture 4: Common Buckeye - Audrea Beeler, Submitted to Missouri Department of Conservation ... See MoreSee Less
Ever Wonder? ...How high a monarch can fly?Monarchs can fly as high as 4,062 feet in the air (~3/4 mile high!)Monarchs have been reported by glider pilots at 4,062 feet, which is about 3/4 of a mile above Earth's surface. Additionally, commercial and military pilots have reported seeing monarchs at 9,800 - 13,000 feet over midwestern states during September!Thumbnail Photo Credit: Public Domain ... See MoreSee Less
Now that the Fall migration has officially made its way into Missouri…Ever Wonder? …How fast the monarchs' migration advances?Short Answer: Average speed of the migration is ~50 miles per day.In the U.S. the first wave of large masses of monarchs typically assemble in Minneapolis/St. Paul area in late August and reach the Texas/Mexico border in the last days of September. The distance is approximately 1500 miles and occurs within 30 days (1500/30=50 miles/day).However, there have been individual reports from recovered tagged monarchs which indicate flight speed/distances of ~ 80 miles/day!Video Description: Monarchs flying around on warm day while overwintering in Mexico.Video Credit: Envato#monarchsinmissouri#moformonarchs#MissouriansforMonarchs#MO4Monarchs#pollinators#plantnative#biodiversity#gardenformonarchs#plantmilkweed#pollinatorhabitat... See MoreSee Less
Contrary to popular believe, Goldenrod does not cause Hay Fever.Hay Fever is caused by our native ragweed species (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), annuals that take advantage of disturbed and/or open ground. Ragweed pollen is very light, allowing it to be wind pollinated (carried through the air). Ragweed can be identified by its 2-3 times pinnately lobed, hairy leaves (See image 4). Additionally, its flowers are not showy at all. (See images 2-3).Whereas, Goldenrods (Solidago spp.) usually have very showy flowers (See images 6-7) and have heavy, sticky pollen that is not wind pollinated and relies on insects for pollination. When Goldenrod flowers mature into fluffy seeds, those seeds can be wind carried, but do not cause Hay Fever. (See image 5)Photo CreditsImage 1: monarchguard.comImages 2-4: Julianna Schroeder (Source - Missouri Dept. of Conservation)Image 5: Susan Ferber (Source - Missouri Dept. of Conservation)Images 6-7: Missouri Dept. of Conservation Staff#monarchsinmissouri#moformonarchs#MissouriansforMonarchs#MO4Monarchs#pollinators#plantnative#biodiversity#gardenformonarchs#plantmilkweed#pollinatorhabitat... See MoreSee Less