Here They Come!

May 18, 2017 by Elizabeth Howard

The outburst of 1st Generation butterflies is beginning.

This female in Wisconsin is one of the week’s northern-most monarchs. Sighting and photo by Chris Smith in Hudson, Wisconsin on May 14, 2017

Moving into Minnesota

After a 3-week lull, the migration advanced to latitude 45°N this week. Observers in Minnesota were ready and waiting to welcome the monarchs.

“One adult flying around the Driskill’s grocery store and by the library at high speed, about single story roof height. Unable to pinpoint male or female. It was bright, definitely not a Gen Zero (from Mexico),” wrote Patti Keiper from Hopkins, MN on May 14th.    

Eggs Across the Landscape

Since their arrival in Texas in March, we’ve watched for two months as the monarchs from Mexico have laid eggs across the landscape. Now, we’re beginning to see the explosive growth of the 1st spring generation. Over the summer breeding season, the population will increase with each new generation.

One monarch could produce a billion butterflies in only 4 generations if all of her eggs survived. In this week’s slideshow, explore the limiting factors that keep the population from growing exponentially.

How Does the Monarch Population Grow?

Essential Question

What limiting factors keep the monarch population from growing exponentially?