Subject: Daniel – Monarch Butterfly Oviposition
Location: Hawthorne, CA
November 11, 2012 10:54 pm
Hi Daniel,
Got these photos today of a lovely Monarch butterfly. Just wanted to share them with you.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Monarch Ovipositing

Hi Anna,
Congratulations on your marvelous documentation.  Recently we have been noticing many Monarch Butterflies migrating across the grounds at Los Angeles City College, and perhaps we will propose that some milkweed be planted as part of the new campus landscaping that is supposed to include native plants.  This female Monarch has curved her abdomen in the act of oviposition, however, we are unable to make out an egg in either of your images.  Monarchs lay eggs singly on the leaves of milkweed, a behavioral pattern that is followed by many butterflies.  Moths on the other hand often lay eggs in clusters, though again, the style of oviposition does vary from species to species.  Does that species of milkweed keep its leaves all winter?  We hope the developing caterpillars will have a winter food source since previous Monarch Caterpillar images we received from you were a bit earlier in the year.

Monarch Ovipositing

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much.  I think it would be a good thing for you to propose the planting of some milkweed at the college.  My Monarch spent almost twenty minutes yesterday back and forth around the milkweed plants ovipositing.  Unfortunately my little Sony Cybershot can’t pick up the actual egg.  Oh, for a better camera!  This species of milkweed does keep its leaves all winter.  I hope her caterpillars (should any of them make it as there are wasps, large milkweed bugs and small milkweed bugs aplenty out there right now) will be able to develop into viable butterflies.  This oviposition is later than last year and I remember that at least one butterfly did not develop correctly.  One wing was horribly deformed.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  I think the cold weather must play a part.
Anna

 

Location: California

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