Big Oil, Chemical & Farm Machinery companies provide superb Monarch Butterfly Breeding Habitat

Paul Cherubini monarch at
Mon Aug 12 10:42:40 EDT 2002

John Shuey wrote:
> So - you're telling me that a plant that often spends 2-4 years as a
> "seedling"  (4 or fewer leaves per plant and usually less than 6cm tall)
> while it builds its root system, must manage to seed in at a density that
> carpets the ground and supports monarch larvae (one mature caterpillar of
> which would need to consume several of these tiny plants).

The ground beneath the canopy of GMO corn and soybean plants, especially
at the perimeter edges of the fields, rather frequently has almost a carpet 
of milkweed seedlings. In this picture I put in arrows
pointing to three milkweed seedlings, but there are actually
many more seedlings in this photo that are difficult to see.  So as a monarch 
caterpillar munches down one seedling it will just wander off 
and find another one in the immediate vicinity. 

> Paul- you're just making this stuff up aren't you?  It's obvious that you
> actually have no first hand experience with the plants or agricultural
> systems that you are talking about, and that you are willing to extrapolate
> wildly based on absolute and total ignorance.  Stick to bullshitting your
> California friends 'cuase us simply prairie folk don't buy into to your
> stories.

John, I am just reporting and expanding a bit on the findings of 
Iowa State Professor John Pleasants and his colleagues. THEY are the
brilliant Ag school Ph.D's that know midwestern agroecosystems inside and
out and deserve credit for enlightening us about the importance
of agricultural habitats to monarch butterflies. 

As a matter of fact, two years ago I mistakenly argued here that milkweed
was not common in corn and soybean fields because one does not see too
many mature weeds of any kind growing in these fields. The 
fields appear weed free as in this picture

It is only when you go looking inside the canopy of these 
crop plants that you see the numerous milkweed seedlings like this one  

Paul Cherubini


   For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit: 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list