Monarch release

Pavulaan at Pavulaan at
Thu Jun 12 22:30:46 EDT 1997

A footnote in the annals of entomology:

During May, we had a major northward movement of Monarchs through the
Washington D.C. metro area.  During this movement, I reported
mass-oviposition of eggs on Asclepias tuberosa.  On May 20, I counted over
400 young Monarch larvae on my plants, causing severe feeding damage.

Those of you who are so against even LOCAL breeding/release of butterflies,
may be interested in knowing that virtually 99.9% of those larvae were
predated upon, EATEN, by spiders, ambush bugs, and various other miniature
monsters, as evidenced by mutilated larval skins hanging all about.  They
never had a chance to be killed by disease.  On June 8, after long, careful
search, I counted a single nearly-grown larva.

I resolve that, from now on, if I find any larvae on my plants, I will take
them into protective custody, raise them, and give them a chance as
free-flying adults in the wild.  First, collecting butterflies was condemned.
 Now, raising and releasing butterflies seems to be a condemned practice as
well.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Harry Pavulaan
Herndon, VA.

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