Wings! - Monarch Butterfly USA
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Wings!

VIDEO: Debbie Verdeur – Calming Chimes and a Beautiful Monarch video

PHOTO: Lynn Rosenblatt

Monarch Butterfly Garden Release ~ Christina McKinney delights children with 50 Monarchs ready to fly south to Mexico! Christina has given several presentations, including talks at Jesse Jones Park, local gardening groups, and even a state prison earlier this year!

PHOTO & VIDEO: Rachel Larson Echols

PHOTO: Bernadette Banville NWF.

PHOTO: Ned Rosenblatt

PHOTO: Deb Gayer. See more of her photos on her Facebook page.

The monarch’s strong wings are its trademark. The black veins in the wings form a strong framework for GLIDING like crossbars of a kite. They glide and ride on the air currents for their long-distance flight!

MONARCHS and MILKWEED are a magical connection…Two life cycles blending hand-in-hand…each with its own magical transformation of change

At cycle’s end, the milkweed pod POPS open – thousands of silky white seed puffs parachute into to air…each drifting in the wind to an unknown place…to begin new life in the spring as the seeds snuggle into the ground for a long winter’s rest.

PHOTO: Amy Moore Skursky

William’s Monarch ~ Video: Melinda Bradley

An “Angelversary” ~ a Monarch Butterfly Tribute from a Loving Mother to her Son 

On 7/4/2008, Melinda Bradley lost her son. He was killed in an automobile accident along with two of his friends. The family released butterflies in his memory on his first “Angelversary.” The gathering was at a house with a swimming pool and as the family dangled their feet in the pool talking and reminiscing … miraculously … three butterflies returned to the party. The family knew then, that these butterflies were special! Melinda is a mail carrier, and almost everyday, she sees a butterfly and always says, “Hi William.” Some days, she will even see three and always says “Hi” to the other boys killed in the same car accident. Looking to the future, Melinda planted milkweed two years ago and was hopeful to see butterflies in her garden. This year, 2017, she had 3 chrysalises on her porch railing. Needless to say, this was miracle beyond belief and a cherished memory forever!

PHOTO: Lynn M. Rosenblatt, Photographer and Author

Alabama State Insect

Alabama designated the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state insect in 1989. Seven states have adopted the monarch butterfly as an official symbol. Alabama also recognizes an official agricultural insect (queen honeybee) and an official state butterfly and mascot (eastern tiger swallowtail). Alabama State Insect

The migratory monarch is a native butterfly well-known to Alabama. Both caterpillar and adult butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning (the Monarch butterfly ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous to predators).

Idaho State Insect

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was designated the official state insect of Idaho in1992, thanks to the efforts of 4th grade students at Boise’s Cole Elementary School (with help from their teacher). Idaho State Insect

Both the caterpillar and adult monarch butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning to predators – the monarch ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous.

Illinois State Insect

Illinois designated the iconic monarch butterfly as the official state insect in 1975, the result of lobbying by Illinois schoolchildren (a third grader from Decatur was the first to suggest the monarch as state insect). Illinois State Insect

Monarch Butterfly Facts. Both the caterpillar and adult monarch butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning to predators – the monarch ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous. Monarch butterfly populationss are declining due to loss of habitat; listed as NF (near threatened) by the World Wildlife Fund.

PHOTO: David Bledsoe

Minnesota State Insect

Minnesota adopted the lovely monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state butterfly in 2000. The monarch was promoted by a fourth-grade class at Anderson Elementary School in Mahtomedi, MN. Minnesota State Insect

Monarch caterpillars appear to feed exclusively on milkweed, which grows throughout Minnesota. Both caterpillar and butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning because the toxins ingested from the milkweed plant are poisonous to predators. The male butterfly has small black dots on its lower wings, females do not.

Quote from Representative Harry Mares (who co-sponsored the bill with Senator Chuck Wiger): “A lot of people have an early introduction to the magical world of nature through the monarch, and as we get older it becomes a thread that takes us through science to beauty and aesthetics.”​

PHOTO: David Bledsoe

Texas State Insect

Texas designated the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state insect in 1995. In 2015 Texas adopted a second insect symbol; a state pollinator. Texas State Insect

Both the caterpillar and adult monarch butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning to predators (the monarch ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous).

Seen soaring and gliding across the USA during the summer, monarchs make an incredible 2,500-mile migration each year to their nesting grounds in Mexico and southern California.

Monarch butterflies are threatened and being considered for protection under The U.S. Endangered Species Act (monarch populations have fallen by possibly 90 percent during the last two decades).

PHOTO: Lynn M. Rosenblatt, Photographer and Author

Vermont State Insect

Vermont designated the monarch (Danaus plexippus) as the official state butterfly in 1987 (Verm​ont also recognizes an official state insect). Monarch butterflies are recognized as an official symbol of seven states. Vermont State Insect

Both caterpillar and butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning (the monarch butterfly ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which make it poisonous to predators). The monarch butterfly’s annual migration is one of the great wonders of nature.

PHOTO: Jennifer E. Dacey / University of Rhode Island

West Virginia State Insect

West Virginia designated the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) the official state butterfly in 1995. Both caterpillar and butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning – the Monarch ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous to predators. West Virginia State Butterfly

PHOTO:  © 2016 Deb Gayer 

monarch wings
monarch wings

PHOTO: Ekabhishek via Wikipedia.

monarch wings

PHOTO: Ron Rowan via Urquhartbutterfly.com.

At cycle’s end, the monarch chrysalis POPS open…an adult butterfly pushes its way out of its crystal sleeping bag to flutter and fly high up in the sky…then glide and soar on majestic wings to an unknown place 2,500 miles away to the Oyamel fir trees of Mexico or the cypress groves and eucalyptus trees of California…snuggling together with thousands for a long winter’s rest.

PHOTO: photographer

PHOTO:  © 2016 Holli Webb Hearn

monarch wings

PHOTO: Kalim JAJA

monarch wings
monarch wings

PHOTO: D. ROSS CAMERON//Bay Area News Group archives via Mercury News.

With this final cycle…they rest…they mate…and new life begins.

SCALE WING

The monarch’s scientific name is s Danaus plexippus. Butterflies and moths belong to a category of insects called Lepidoptera, which means “scale wing.” It comes from the Greek word s lepidos (scale) and pteron (wing). Monarch wings are made of thousands of tiny overlapping scales, like fish scales or shingles on a roof. These powdery scales give butterflies their beautiful color and patterns.

monarch wings

PHOTO: Joshua Mayer ia Inhabitat.com.

monarch wings
monarch wings

PHOTO: Via Wikipedia commons.

GIRLS? OR BOYS?

Can you tell the difference between a boy monarch and a girl monarch? Take a close look at their bottom wings. You will see a tiny thickening or black “dot” on the boys wings. The girls do NOT have dots…

female-monarch

PHOTO: Kenneth Dwain Harrelson via Wikipedia.

PHOTO: Lynn Rosenblatt

MONARCH OR VICEROY?

PHOTO: Piccolo Namek

Milkweed is toxic to many animals … but not the monarch. Milkweed contains cardiac glycosides toxins that are poisonous. It does NOT, however, hurt the monarch caterpillar who consumes almost 30 leaves during its growing and munching cycle. The toxins help the caterpillar and adult butterfly build an interior defense mechanism – a shield of protection – against predators. Predators in nature learn to avoid some species of plants that are very distasteful.

PHOTO: Derek Ramsey

The VICEROY – who has the same coloration as the monarch, uses this “look-alike” characteristic for protection, too.  Viceroy Butterflies look very similar to the Monarch. These lucky creatures use their orange and black coloring to trick a predator into hunting elsewhere. Predators are warned and learn how distasteful a monarch is – the Viceroy takes advantage of this feature! This is called Mullerian M​​imicry ~ the Viceroy’s defense ~ introduced in 1878 by a German naturalist named Fritz Müller.

QUEEN OR MONARCH?

Queen Butterfly

QUEEN MALE PHOTO: Texas Butterfly Ranch

QUEEN FEMALE PHOTO: Scott Simmons

QUEEN CATERPILLAR: Texas Butterfly Ranch

Monarch Butterfly

MONARCH MALE PHOTO: Kathy Keatley Garvey/UC Davis

MONARCH FEMALE PHOTO: Barbara Powers of MonarchNet.org

MONARCH CATERPILLAR PHOTO: Elizabeth Howard of Learner.org

CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

Check out this great link from the Texas Butterfly Farm website.

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