Monarch Migration News: June 2, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard
The migration exploded across the northern breeding grounds, with 36% of the season's sightings reported in a single week.

Monarch Butterfly Egg Taken by Ant
This newborn Texas monarch will fly to the northern breeding grounds.
Monarchs rarely remain in the South to breed during the heat of summer.

Image by Jody McBeath

News: Sightings Soar
What a week! People reported 179 new sightings, a dramatic increase over this spring's average of 26 sightings per week. The migration advanced another 200 miles northward, for a 2-week total of 450 miles. The northernmost monarch has now reached latitude 48°N in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Notice the delayed arrival in the East. There, the migration has only reached latitude 41°N in New Jersey, about 800 miles lower in latitude than the Minnesota sighting. Because of the distance and the delay, monarchs begin breeding later in the east than in the Midwest. This is one reason the eastern breeding grounds contribute less to the overwintering population.

Generation Two
Females are laying eggs of the 2nd generation. These monarchs will be the grandchildren of butterflies that overwintered in Mexico. The egg map shows how concentrated breeding presently is in the Upper Midwest.

Counting Generations
Monarch generations are continuing to cycle. It takes about one month for each to develop. Over the summer, three generations will be produced in the north.

June: grandchildren

July: great-grandchildren

August: great-great-grandchildren—the generation that migrates to Mexico.

Sightings Soar
Monarch Butterfly Egg Taken by Ant
Grandchildren Coming
Cindy Kirby Pringle
Monarch Butterfly Egg Taken by Ant
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

Evaluation: Share your thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to complete our Annual Evaluation. With your help, we can document Journey North's reach, impact and value. Thank you!

Journey North Evaluation
Next Update June 9, 2016