Waiting for Adults
May 10, 2017 by Elizabeth Howard
  While we continue to wait for the next generation, let's salute the monarch larvae. Most of the world's monarchs are in this stage right now.  
Monarch Butterfly

"I have only seen a couple of single monarchs this spring but I found a caterpillar on my butterfly weed." Beth Rice of Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 7, 2017

Never Fewer Butterflies
Right now, the number of adult butterflies is at its lowest; at no other time of year are there so few adult monarchs.

With so few butterflies, the migration has come to a standstill. Look at the animated migration map and see how little things have changed. We're still waiting for the surge of 1st generation butterflies and this week was the slowest of the season. There were still people reporting faded-winged butterflies, which means that some of the monarchs from Mexico are still around.

New Generation Coming
People are reporting larvae — lots and lots of larvae. Eating and growing, today's monarch caterpillars will soon be northbound butterflies.

No to Neonicotinoids
Journey North participant Karen VanHeest wrote with concern about plants being sold to butterfly gardeners that contain neonicotinoids, a class of systemic pesticides that are harmful to monarchs and other pollinators. The flowers are toxic, and so is the plant material that's eaten by monarch larvae and other herbivores. Watch out for neonicotinoids — and other pesticides — in any garden products that you purchase. If you're not sure, don't buy it. Read more:

Xerces Society: Neonicotinoids in Your Garden
Monarch Joint Venture: Insecticides and Monarchs
Xerces Society: Neonicotinoids and Bees

Monarch Butterfly
Old Generation Persists
Kevin Ford
Monarch Butterfly
New Generation Coming
Warren Bielenberg
warning tag to butterfly gardeners that plants treated with neonicotenoids
No to Neonicotinoids!
What do monarch butterfly larvae do?

Monarch Butterfly

Companion Resources


Photo Gallery

Text Only Article


Driving Question

What do monarch larvae do? Research to learn about the larva stage of the monarch life cycle.

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
Spring Migration 2017
Report all monarchs you see — adults, eggs, larvae.
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map
What to Report Adults
report | map | list
report | map | list
Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2017 Monarch butterfly migration map
report | map | list
report | map | list
Other Observations
report | map | list

Next May 18, 2017