Archive for September 14th, 2009

Monarch Migration, 1

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texans are in for a treat this month and next because monarch butterflies are on the move.

Yeah, monarchs, in the insect world, have the longest migration. Basically, they spend the winter down in Mexico, and they come up to the US, spend their summer up here, feeding, laying eggs, and then they go back to Mexico.

Michael Warriner is an invertebrate biologist at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says monarchs that head north in springtime are not the same monarchs that return to Mexico in the fall.

The Monarch that comes from Mexico, pretty much ends its life in Texas. It comes here, it lays its eggs, and the next generation is the one that moves further north

It’s only a few weeks from egg to butterfly. And you might be surprised by the number of generations it takes to complete this lengthy migration.

Oh, wow. You could probably have anywhere from three to six generations. So, the ones that come up from Mexico to Texas, it’s probably their great, great, great grandchildren that are coming back down at the end of the summer.

Tomorrow we talk about a citizen science project called Monarch Watch.

People can get involved in that by reporting their sightings.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.