Two years ago we saw migrating Monarchs nectaring on these white flowers. We were so happy to see them again in the same place today! There were at least 300 on these bushes that grow along this creek bed. Mostly they were resting and nectaring as there was a south wind blowing about 20 mph. A cold front is headed this way, in about 4 days, with a north wind to push them on to Mexico where they are migrating for the winter. It’s always amazing to see them in such great numbers.
I haven’t seen any Monarchs yet in Allen, TX, but my Frostweed is just beginning to bloom. I’m hoping that will attract a few that will be migrating through to Mexico! It’s supposed to be one of their favorite nectaring plants.
Sightings of southbound monarchs, intense nectaring, and the first overnight roosts are being reported.
At this time of year, monarchs change dramatically in physiology and in behavior.Responding to Daylength
Declining day length is the central cue that triggers the monarch’s migratory state. In the northern breeding range photoperiod is falling by 20 minutes this week. This sends the signal that it’s time to go to Mexico.Becoming Migratory
Watch for signs of migratory monarchs:
flying in directional flight
clustering in overnight roosts
Emerging in Diapause
Beginning in mid-August in the north, adults are in diapause when they emerge from the chrysalis. They are full grown — but not reproductively mature. Their reproductive development is on pause. These monarchs will not complete development and begin to mate until next spring in Mexico.
Beginning a Long Life
The same hormone deficiency that leads to diapause also leads to increased longevity. Summer monarchs live only 2-6 weeks; migratory monarchs live up to 8 months.
Monarchs are shifting focus now from breeding to intense feeding. They must build body fat to fuel migration and to survive the winter in Mexico.
Fall migration 2016 is underway. Please share your sightings and help tell the story of the monarch’s long journey to Mexico.
This is the latest Gulf Fritillary that I have observed laying eggs! In the last picture notice the single, yellow egg laid on a tendril of the Passion Flower vine! I held the small, black chalkboard behind it in order to be able to focus my camera on it!
I enjoyed watching this swallowtail land on lots of the flowers on my lantana! I wish the quality of these photos were better, but they were taken on my iPhone and the butterfly was busy flying from flower to flower and not sitting still very long!
I’m so happy we had some cooler weather in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and also some rain in August. All my lantana are back in bloom! Lots of butterflies, bees and even hummingbird visitors. Alas, I couldn’t capture a picture of the hummingbirds!