Monarch Adult Sighted
Sightings report image

Date: 05/04/2024

Number: 8

After two days of strong thunderstorms and 5.5 inches of rain, today was a respite and a surprising day of seeing multiple fresh-winged monarchs. First, I saw a bright-winged monarch flying in our front yard at 11:30am, so I gathered my camera and headed out. It was 76 degrees F, partly cloudy, with 83% humidity, and gusty winds ~ the ground and grass soaking wet from the rains.

I went to the current favorite spot for the monarchs and all the butterflies, bumblebees, and beetles: a meadow with an abundance of prairie plantains, prairie parsley, and flowering milkweed (both Asclepias viridis and Asclepias linearis). Queens, Buckeyes, Swallowtails, Pearl Crescents, American Ladies, Gray Hairstreaks, and more all seem to gravitate to this area.

But it was still a surprise to see multiple new generation monarchs flying around. Their brilliant wings made them easy to spot. I ended up just observing as they nectared from blooming slim milkweed and scuffled with each other or other butterflies. I saw five males and three females ~ only one of the males had faded, tattery wings, the rest of the monarchs had fresh velvety bright wings.

They were fascinating to watch. So fast did they zip around! They also filled up on nectar from the slim milkweed blossoms. At some point I saw two of the females laying eggs on the slim milkweed. One of them was chased by a male ~ they went in a high spiral together and away (not sure of the outcome). Later as I was photographing a female laying eggs a male monarch zoomed in and captured her. They became a mated pair. I will add their photo to a Monarch (OTHER Observations) report.

The sole elder male monarch also nectared from the slim milkweed blossoms and rested/sunned on the tall prairie plantains. He too sailed around and skirmished with the other butterflies ~ a lovely strong presence still here even as the new generation is being born.

Truly for me really a joy to see these young monarchs after watching the migrating monarchs egg-laying and mating the last two months, the eggs and larvae developing, and not knowing exactly how they fared. But here were some of the wonderful offspring, full of energy and a zest for life.

This is a photo of one of the beautiful female monarchs as she nectars from the tiny blossoms of a slim milkweed ~ apparently a delicious elixir.

Note: Though I did bring in some of the last monarch caterpillars to raise indoors for observation purposes, none of them have yet emerged from their chrysalises.

Montgomery, TX

Latitude: 30.4 Longitude: -95.8

Observed by: Kathy
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