New Generation

April 20, 2017 by Elizabeth Howard

As the migrants from Mexico reach the northern limits of their travels, the first butterflies of the new generation are appearing in the south.

“I saw this 1st Generation female in our yard. She was was easy to spot with her coat of fresh colors!” reported Chuck Patterson of Driftwood, Texas on April 18, 2017

Fresh Wings!

Chuck Patterson reported the season’s first fresh-winged monarch on April 18 in Driftwood, TX. This means that eggs that were laid in mid-March by monarchs from Mexico are now emerging as adult butterflies. They are this season’s 1st generation.

“It has been about a month since we started seeing remigrants. I suspect we will be seeing many more 1st Generation this week and next.”

Report Wing Condition

When you report a monarch, note the condition of the wings. A monarch from Mexico will be tattered and dull; a 1st generation butterfly will be a brilliant.

Arriving Early

Never have we seen so many monarchs go so far north so early! Journey North maps are capturing a crucial period. During the first 6 weeks of spring migration, we see where the butterflies from Mexico travel and where they lay their eggs. Thanks to citizen science, we know where habitat is critical for 1st generation production.

Egg-Loading and Milkweed

This spring, monarchs are arriving just as milkweed is emerging. People are noticing small plants loaded with eggs and wondering: Will there be enough milkweed to feed the hungry caterpillars? More…