Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Mon Jun 18 02:05:03 EDT 2001

There are a couple of garden plants suitable for Monarch use, but they
are not commonly grown here. One is the Swan plant, which is imported
from Australia. (I think.)
My favorite field guide, Dr. Norman Hickin's "The Butterflies of
Ireland" has a chapter on the Monarch, listing the times it had been
sighted in Ireland ( about 20 individuals before 1985) and suggested
that such individuals probably had been a) hibernating on ships; b)
blown off course while migrating, or c) released from captivity. (Look
what I brought for Mary's wedding!)
Hickin reports (in 1992) that "the Monarch occurs in the Canaries and
other Atlantic islands and this is a possible source of Irish specimens.
It has recently been recorded as establishing breeding populations in
Portugal and southern Spain."

Their presence in the Canaries and so forth suggests to me that they
rode there on ships. These islands are frequent ports of call for cruise
ships, as well as freighters, and it's easy for hitchhikers to debark. 

It might be interesting to set up a branch of Monarch Watch in Europe
and in Africa, but I would hate to see people planting milkweeds to
encourage the invasion of this alien, at the expense of the native
butterflies that use the indigenous flowers. Call me a racist ... 
Better we should plant violas for the Queen of Spain Fritillary,
Argynnis lathonia; it has occurred here twice in 150 years, and you
never know ... 
Those, at least, would serve some other fritillaries. 
 If your poor pregnant Danaus found a milkweed, and her children
survived to adulthood, I suppose they might find their way to Portugal
or Africa. 
I wonder ... do they tag Irish Brimstones, Clouded Yellows etc. and
where are they found? 

I thought the UK-leps people might be interested in this topic ...
forgive me for cross-posting.
Anne Kilmer
Mayo, Ireland (and South Florida)
Joel Lyons wrote:
> Thanks to Rudy and Chris for the replies regarding Asclepius in
> Europe.  Permit me (and perhaps forgive me) for giving you the
> background for my query:  Television.  On Saturday a program
> about "migration" came on one of the cable channels.  It featured
> Monarch Butterflies.  Yes, and whales and some geese.  But, the
> Monarch factor loomed large in this bit of video cheese and it
> seemed that the production was also very much about proving a
> budget worthwhile for computer animation equipment.  I digress,
> sorry.  Part of the Monarch sequences depicted a poor Danaus
> whipped across the whole, entire, vast, range of teeming and surging
> Atlantic by a New England storm only to land very much alive but
> with no means of reproduction because "on this side of the Atlantic
> there is NO MILKWEED."   I really should have asked, "Hey, there
> are no Monarch's in England or all of Europe for that matter because
> there is no milkweed I saw it on tv?"  I mean, I'm bothering
> scientists
> with questions regarding tv source material, yikes.  Thanks for your
> time.


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