Monarch Migration News: May 19, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard

As monarchs migrate north, watch out for imposters. How can you tell this is not a monarch?

Monarch Butterfly Egg Taken by Ant
"Why monarch counting gets tricky in Texas in May." — Gregg Lee   Glen Rose, Texas
Can you identify this butterfly?

News: Few and Far Between

Late-season cold and accompanying north winds appear to be holding the monarchs back. However, the wind will shift to a southerly flow by Thursday, May 19th and is predicted to blow for most of the week ahead. Watch for northbound butterflies to ride the tailwinds into the summer breeding grounds. Flying conditions will be perfect.

With monarch numbers low, few sightings were reported during the past week. The migration map shows scattered sightings in the north, including surprise first sightings from Canada.

Compare Years
The timing of arrival in the northern breeding grounds is important and it can vary from year to year, as the migration maps show. Arrival time is one factor that influences the size of future generations according to Dr. Chip Taylor. He thinks the ideal window is the 10-day period from May 11 - 20. Let's see what happens in the week ahead!

Watch Out for Look-Alikes
Thousands of observers track the monarch's migration every spring. These people expand the eyes and ears of scientists, but proper identification is critical. Look carefully for the monarch's tell-tale field marks — and try to snap a picture. We review all sightings reported to the migration map and will contact you if we need more information for verification.

Post-Storm Logging
More bad news from Mexico. Large-scale salvage logging is being conducted in the aftermath of the March 2016 storm that struck the monarch overwintering colonies, further degrading the forest's protective canopy, say experts. We will continue to follow this news and look for ways people can express their concern.

Monarch Butterfly Look-alike
Not a Monarch
Watch the Wings
Post-Storm Logging at Monarch Sanctuary in Mexico
Post-Storm Logging
Explore: Monarchs and Look-Alikes

What field marks distinguish a monarch from look-alike butterflies? Create Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast.

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

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Next Update May 26, 2016