Monarch butterflies

Pierre A Plauzoles ae779 at
Tue Aug 12 10:35:44 EDT 1997

In a previous article, maggie at ("Barb") says:

>  Hi!!! I am from the news group rec.gardens and we are having a grand
>discussion about the fact that the Monarch's are on the at risk list now
>and we are all wondering what to do to help. As you people are the experts
>we would really appreciate your posting of info to us.     Thanks Barb


Two things are imperative: 1/ food plants and 2/ a lack of toxins.

1/ The maonarch caterpillar feeds on several species of milkweeds (I don't
know if the species used varies geographically), and the adult needs nectar,
which means that it needs flowers.  Many people have had very good
experience with several different species.  If you want something bushy,
try Abelia grandiflora.  My father, in West Los Angeles, has four bushes
some nine feet tall that are covered with flowers between two and six
months each year (your success will vary depending on the climate where
you live).  Their small white to pinkish white flowers attract monarchs,
cabbage whites, swallowtails, gulf fritillaries and many other species.

2/ Pesticides are generally deadly to most species of butterflies and
their caterpillars.  Avoid them like the plague, and you will have much
better luck with all kinds of butterflies and moths.

Don't be afraid of a tobacco hornworm or two on your tomato plants: they
won't harm the plants in the long run and will end up being breakfast,
lunch and/or dinner for some of the local birds - jays have a particular
affinity for the adult moths - or a few white-lined sphinxes on the
fuchsia (they are favorites of roadrunners and probably others as well,
which, believe it or not, will eat hordes of them every night).  A
relative of the roadrunner, the western yellow-billed cuckoo, takes
larger sphinx moth caterpillars to feed its nestlings.
Pierre Plauzoles   ae779 at
Canoga Park, California

More information about the Leps-l mailing list