Chris J. Durden drdn at
Mon Mar 25 11:43:44 EST 2002

At 07:25 PM 3/24/2002 -0800, you wrote:

>Chris, I wish we could see some pictures of these
>fresh, little faded, unscratched monarchs you have been seeing in
>Austin, TX  so we could compare them with the pictures we have
>of the condition of the monarchs just before they left the
>overwintering reserves in Mexico.
>For example, here is a picture of the typical condition of the
>monarchs at the Chincua reserve on Feb. 25:
> The butterflies
>are moderately faded, but not tattered.

These are as fresh as the Monarchs in Austin this spring.

>For comparison, here is a newly emerged monarch:
>(Ok I cheated a little - it's actually a freshly emerged New Zealand

This I would refer to as gloss-fresh. It does not last long. None of this 
spring's Austin Monarchs have been this fresh.

>So Chris, have the monarchs you have been seeing in Austin this month
>been nearly as fresh looking as a newly emerged monarch? Or have
>they been more like the pictures of the monarchs at Chincua on Feb. 25?
>You might also be very interested in this female I photographed
>at Chincua reserve Feb. 25 with the more rounded fore wings and white
>apical spots:

Yes that is it - good picture.

>A. currassavica was common below 7,000 feet in the region of
>the overwintering sites in Mexico, and it was easy to find
>monarch caterpillars on the plants.  This is a picture of
>some currassavica along highway 15 in Tuxpan, Michoacan
>elevation 5,600 feet (which lies inbetween and slightly south of the
>Cerro San Andres and Chivati-Huacal overwintering sites)
>I managed to smuggle my butterfly net into Mexico and caught (then
>released) 3 reproductive monarchs flying in the vicinity of some milkweed
>at Tuxpan, Michoacan.  All three monarchs had the salmon colored
>apical spots.

This may happen on the Gulf Coast (in Mexico) but I have not been there 
recently to check their reproductive status. I suspect they are active, 
because the ones that lingered in Texas (Central and Gulf Coast) this year 
through January were laying eggs on *A. curassavica*.
.................Chris Durden

>Paul Cherubini


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