Monarch Migration Entering Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee

March 26, 2020 by Team Journey North

Something to celebrate. More monarch arrivals!

“Monarch was nectaring on Grape Hyacinths I have planted in my front yard. Then Monarch moved to nectar on a dandelion.” Photo by: Mary Jane (Midland, TX; 03/17/2020)

A Week of Firsts

The migration advanced into Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee this week. The northernmost monarch was seen in Morris, OK near Oklahoma City.

From Morris, OK: Lynn saw her first monarch of the season. (03/26/2020) Link to report

From Malvern, AR: Kelly reported a monarch arrival. (03/26/2020)

From Memphis, TNLichterman reported first arrival also. (03/26/2020) Link to report

Please keep reporting first arrivals of migrating monarchs. How do you know if you are observing a migrating monarch? Monarch wings are the answer. Monarchs that have traveled from Mexico have faded and tattered wings. 

Milkweed, Eggs and Caterpillars

It is always a question if monarchs are pushing northward before milkweed has emerged. Luckily, we have received reports from people of milkweed emergence in Oklahoma but none in Arkansas and Tennessee. Will there be enough milkweed ready for migrating monarchs to lay eggs? 

From Sand Springs, AR: Anita reported, “I have milkweed coming up in pots that have aquatic milkweed planted. I also have milkweed shoots coming up in raised beds that have swamp milkweed planted.” (03/19/2020)

A single monarch butterfly can lay hundreds of eggs. During spring migration, each female leaves a trail of eggs behind her as she travels. Monarchs only live for a few weeks after they begin to reproduce. 

From Austin, TX: Bradford had this to say, “I walked out in the afternoon sun to stare at milkweed growing, as I often do. A monarch alighted from potted milkweed. She continued to lay eggs for 20 minutes. At least ten eggs or more.” (03/25/2020)

From Montgomery, TX: Kathy “was able to walk about the pastures around 6pm. The milkweed is healthy and abundant. Many of the milkweed plants I checked had monarch eggs. But I was indeed surprised to find a few 1st and 2nd instar larvae. Very nice to see the little ones!”  (03/19/2020)

The Oyamel Forests Are Empty of Monarchs

Wishing “buen viaje” Estela Romero share a brief note: Until Next November

Western Monarch Population Migration News

As you will read in Gail Morris’ article, people are having difficulties distinguishing between Painted Ladies and Monarch Butterflies. Take a moment to review the differences. As Gail writes: “Warmer temperatures have returned but new sightings of monarchs and their eggs, larvae and pupae are still occurring in California and Arizona in the same regions as last week. This is the time in the spring migration when tracking monarchs becomes more of a challenge. Remigrants are reaching the end of their lifetimes in their next few weeks and evidence of their offspring are not as visible.” 

Read more of Gail Morris’ article: Limited sightings

Looking For Fun Activities To Do At Home? 

Look no further! Journey North has many resources for anyone with a curious mind. This week we feature resources related to Monarch Wings. Let’s all explore together. 

Monarchs & Milkweed Spring / Summer Maps

After FIRST sightings, please report: 

  • Monarch Adult Sighted
  • Milkweed Sighted
  • Monarch Egg Sighted
  • Monarch Larva Sighted 
  • Monarch (OTHER observations) *including behaviors such as mating and nectaring