[NatureNS] Monarch Update

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Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2018 11:18:14 -0300
From: Larry Bogan <larry@bogan.ca>
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Monarchs have stopped laying eggs and our last new caterpillars are emerging. We have been rearing them now since the 3rd of July and have been releasing butterflies since August 1st.

So far we have released 280 Monarchs and used all of our 100 Monarch Watch tags. (50 more tags are coming). This year we have taken to surveying for chrysalis in our field of Common Milkweed and been bringing in those that are about to eclose to protect then tag the butterfly.  So far we have released over 100 'wild' Monarchs.

The Monarchs have been productive this year and are everywhere. Almost every patch of milkweed in my area has had evidence of Monarchs presence. Many Valley gardeners have seen Monarch caterpillars in their milkweed and contacted us.

The presence of all the Monarchs has been a delight here. Since mid-August we could walk around our field (2 hectares) and disturb anywhere from 50 to 85 Monarch butterflies. Yesterday the number was 58. 

Alison and I surveyed half the field for chrysalis and caterpillars over the last three days. We found a total of 205 caterpillars and about 30 chysalis (keeps changing). Most (162) of the caterpillars were in their last stage before pupating (instar 5). 

The season is winding down but we will have Monarchs into early October since the latest larvae coming out will not become butterflies until then.

It has been a marvelous year for Monarchs, the best we have seen since we have been raising them in our field. 

By the way if anyone sees a Monarch with a white circular dot on its rear wing underside, could you try to read the number with binoculars (good luck) and report it to me. All of our tags start with YAA. Thanks.


Larry Bogan 
Brooklyn Corner, Nova Scotia

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