A monarch was observed nectaring at Asclepias speciosa on the western bank of Josephine Creek between 4:30 and 5:30 pm on 6/24/2021. Twice during that time, a second monarch flew in and the two individuals circled around each other in flight, apparently territorial.
The location (42.240736, -123.685046) was accessed from Josephine Camp Campground, near the town of Selma in Josephine County, Oregon. There were other patches of Asclepias speciosa nearby, but none of the other plants were in bloom yet. Some herbivory was noted on the Asclepias speciosa leaves where the monarchs were observed, but no monarch larvae or eggs were found.
The patch of Asclepias speciosa where the monarchs were observed was heavily infested with aphids. The aphid damage on the inflorescences had caused the majority of flowers to wither. No follicles were found on the Asclepias speciosa.
There was a population of Asclepias cordifolia nearby at higher elevation (42.252388, -123.741605). There were some open flowers on 6/24/21, but the majority of the Asclepias cordifolia individuals had finished blooming and had already produced follicles.
I attached the clearest photo of one monarch. I have videos of the two monarchs interacting, as well as photos of the Asclepias speciosa aphid damage and nearby Asclepias cordifolia.
Latitude: 42.2 Longitude: -123.7
Observed by: Adam
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