Monarch Migration News: March 31, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard

Laying eggs as they travel, northbound butterflies are delivering the next generation.

Monarch Butterflies
First for Oklahoma! "Spotted this female in backyard," wrote Brandon from Ada on March 26th.

News: Wave of Arrival in Texas
The migration's leading edge advanced into northern Texas this week and a first sighting from Oklahoma confirms monarchs are crossing into that state. Many more faded and tattered-winged butterflies were reported this week than last; these sightings signal a wave of arrival into Texas from Mexico.

Many monarchs were traveling along the Texas Gulf Coast. One observer counted 16 in Rockport on March 27th and another counted 10 in Port Lavaca on March 28th within one hour of looking! Were these butterflies blown to the coast by the north winds of the previous days?

The Next 6 Weeks
It's a critical time as the monarchs race northward to produce the next generation. Now in reproductive condition, the biological clock is ticking. Most of these monarchs will reach the end of their lives by the end of April. The butterflies have been busy with egg-laying.

"After spotting our first monarch, I inspected the milkweed. Sure enough, I found multiple eggs on the leaves," said Melba Olsen of Plainview, Texas.

Critical Habitat
The size of the next generation will largely be determined by the quality of breeding habitat in Texas, and neighboring states to a lesser extent. Reproduction is concentrated in this region in early spring because the temperatures are favorable and the vegetation is ready. It's important to note, however, that the extent of breeding in northern Mexico is not known. This is an area where more research is needed.

Monarch Butterfly Migration and Wind
Watch the Wind
Critical Monarch Butterfly Breeding Habitat in Texas
Critical Habitat
Kathy Metzger
Critical Habitat
Annual Cycle
What to Report
Report Your Sightings
Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2016 Monarch butterfly migration map
First Adult
report | map | list
report | map | list
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map

After first sightings, continue to report all monarchs — adults, eggs, and larvae.

Monarch butterfly migration map

First Egg
report | map | list
First Larva
report | map | list

Next Update April 7, 2016