Major Monarch migration underway

Monarch Watch monarch at
Sun May 4 15:14:24 EDT 1997

Those of you interested in following the fall and spring monarch migrations
might consider subscribing to dplex-l, the listserve for the Monarch Watch
or connect with Journey North --Elizabeth Donnelly
Journey North
18150 Breezy Point Road
Wayzata, Minnesota   55391

Phone:  (612)476-6470
FAX:    (612)339-7056
E-mail:  jnorth at

The monarch migration this spring has been extraordinary and is certainly
the best in the last 5 years and perhaps much longer. Many observers are
reporting seeing monarchs earlier and in larger numbers than they ever
remembered in the past. The large numbers of eggs being found on newly
emerging milkweeds is quite surprising and again exceeds prior experiences
of many observers.

This spring migration follows what many claimed was the best fall migration
in a decade and perhaps even the last 20 years. Overwintering conditions at
the roosts in Mexico did not appear to be stressful and Karen Oberhauser
reported that monarchs at the roosts were in excellent condition and had
large fat bodies late in the winter.

What the summer will bring will depend on the distribution of rainfall and
the mean temperatures in the northern part of the breeding range.
Concentrated oviposition by many females on a few plants could lead to an
increase in the neogregarine, Ophyrocystis electroscirrha. Normally the
infestation rate for this parasite is less than 5% for the eastern
population. It will be interesting to see if this rate of infestation
changes with population size.

Monarch Watch
Email:  monarch at
Dplex-L:  send message "info Dplex-L" to Listproc at
Phone:  1 (888) TAGGING (toll-free!) -or- 1 (913) 864 4441
Fax:  1 (913) 864 4441 -or- 1 (913) 864 5321
Snail:  c/o O.R. Taylor, Dept. of Entomology, 7005 Haworth Hall, Univ. of
KS, Lawrence KS 66045

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