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Posts Tagged: monarch butterfly

Independence Day for a Monarch

The monarch chrysalis bulges, a sure sign that eclosure is imminent. At right is a newly formed green chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly eclose? It's a magical moment. First an egg, then a caterpillar, then a chrysalis, and then a butterfly, Danaus plexippus. We took...

The monarch chrysalis bulges, a sure sign that eclosure is imminent. At right is a newly formed green chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The monarch chrysalis bulges, a sure sign that eclosure is imminent. At right is a newly formed green chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch chrysalis bulges, a sure sign that eclosure is imminent. At right is a newly formed green chrysalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Out it slides. Swoosh! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Out it slides. Swoosh! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Out it slides. Swoosh! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Time to wiggle around. Welcome to the world! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Time to wiggle around. Welcome to the world! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Time to wiggle around. Welcome to the world! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Time to pump up the wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Time to pump up the wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Time to pump up the wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just you wait, soon I'll be a familiar looking butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just you wait, soon I'll be a familiar looking butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just you wait, soon I'll be a familiar looking butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm  swinging and swaying. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I'm swinging and swaying. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm swinging and swaying. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ah, as soon as I dry, I'll be off and long gone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ah, as soon as I dry, I'll be off and long gone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ah, as soon as I dry, I'll be off and long gone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 at 10:54 AM
Focus Area Tags: Innovation Natural Resources

Once Upon a Monarch...

A monarch caterpillar dines on tropical milkweed on Oct. 27, 2017 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We first saw her at 10 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2017. She was eating. That's what monarch caterpillars do best. They eat. A lot. "Where have you been?" I asked. "Where have you...

A monarch caterpillar dines on tropical milkweed on Oct. 27, 2017 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar dines on tropical milkweed on Oct. 27, 2017 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar dines on tropical milkweed on Oct. 27, 2017 in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar, found Oct. 27 on milkweed in Vacaville, Calif., formed this chrysalis on Nov. 4. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The monarch caterpillar, found Oct. 27 on milkweed in Vacaville, Calif., formed this chrysalis on Nov. 4. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar, found Oct. 27 on milkweed in Vacaville, Calif., formed this chrysalis on Nov. 4. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On Nov. 22, the chrysalis darkened, revealing the iconic orange, black and white wings of the monarch in all its transparency. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
On Nov. 22, the chrysalis darkened, revealing the iconic orange, black and white wings of the monarch in all its transparency. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On Nov. 22, the chrysalis darkened, revealing the iconic orange, black and white wings of the monarch in all its transparency. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On Nov. 22, the monarch eclosed. It's a girl! Here she clings to her pupal case. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
On Nov. 22, the monarch eclosed. It's a girl! Here she clings to her pupal case. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On Nov. 22, the monarch eclosed. It's a girl! Here she clings to her pupal case. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch Mom Rita LeRoy, farm keeper at Loma Vista Farm, Vallejo, is ready to release the Vacaville-born and reared monarch at the butterfly sanctuary at Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, on  Nov. 24.
Monarch Mom Rita LeRoy, farm keeper at Loma Vista Farm, Vallejo, is ready to release the Vacaville-born and reared monarch at the butterfly sanctuary at Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, on Nov. 24.

Monarch Mom Rita LeRoy, farm keeper at Loma Vista Farm, Vallejo, is ready to release the Vacaville-born and reared monarch at the butterfly sanctuary at Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, on Nov. 24.

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 3:39 PM

The Making of a Monarch

A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're addicted to monarchs--and lament that they're overwintering in coastal California and in central Mexico and nowhere near you--no worries. The Bohart Museum of...

A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch t-shirts at the Bohart Museum of Entomology ask the question:
Monarch t-shirts at the Bohart Museum of Entomology ask the question: "Got milkweed?" Milkweed is the host plant of monarchs; monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweed and caterpillars eat only milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch t-shirts at the Bohart Museum of Entomology ask the question: "Got milkweed?" Milkweed is the host plant of monarchs; monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweed and caterpillars eat only milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Drama in the Pollinator Patch

A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here's this newly eclosed male monarch trying to sip a little nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). A female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis, seeks to...

A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just a blur, a male longhorned bee, probably Meliossodes agilis, targets a monarch. The monarch's wings are deformed; they did not fully expand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just a blur, a male longhorned bee, probably Meliossodes agilis, targets a monarch. The monarch's wings are deformed; they did not fully expand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just a blur, a male longhorned bee, probably Meliossodes agilis, targets a monarch. The monarch's wings are deformed; they did not fully expand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 4:53 PM

Miracles Do Happen

A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

For the last several months, we've seen monarchs laying eggs on our narrow-leafed milkweed. A daily check yielded "zero" caterpillars. Zero. Nada. Zilch. One reason is...

A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hidden, but there it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Hidden, but there it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hidden, but there it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The chrysalis turned from jade green to transucent. You can see the butterfly inside, almost ready to eclose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The chrysalis turned from jade green to transucent. You can see the butterfly inside, almost ready to eclose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The chrysalis turned from jade green to transucent. You can see the butterfly inside, almost ready to eclose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The newly emerged male monarch dries its wings. At left is the second chrysalis, which turned out to be a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The newly emerged male monarch dries its wings. At left is the second chrysalis, which turned out to be a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The newly emerged male monarch dries its wings. At left is the second chrysalis, which turned out to be a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The first male monarch of the season, ready to be released. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The first male monarch of the season, ready to be released. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The first male monarch of the season, ready to be released. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 11:52 AM

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