Monarchs fly south for the winter

September 12, 2005

As many as 300 million monarch butterflies are now flying south from Canada and the northern United States to winter in Mexico and Southern California.

But, thanks to this year's hot and dry U.S. summer, the number of monarchs has soared, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

"I counted over 100 just looking out the window while I was getting a cup of coffee," Doug Taron, curator of biology at the Chicago's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, told the newspaper.

This summer's hot and dry conditions were nearly perfect for the black and gold butterflies, increasing their numbers up to 10 times over last year in some area.

"It's the drought," Taron said. "Butterflies in general seem to do well in warm, dry years." He said such weather conditions eliminate many of the funguses and bacteria that usually kill the monarchs' eggs or destroy the butterflies while they are still caterpillars.

The monarch butterflies will fly more than 2,000 miles to gather at a dozen wintering areas in the mountains west of Mexico City.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers identify wildlife refugia in Dartmoor National Park

Related Stories

Monarch butterflies drop ominously in Mexico (Update)

March 13, 2013

The number of Monarch butterflies making it to their winter refuge in Mexico dropped 59 percent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday.

Cutting Bergmann's Rule down to size

November 20, 2012

(Phys.org)—Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate in entomology at the University of California, Davis, is cutting Bergmann's Rule down to size.

New tropical mistletoe described just in time for Christmas

December 19, 2010

As the UN's International Year of Biodiversity draws to a close, scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are celebrating the diversity of the planet's plant and fungal life by highlighting some of the weird, wonderful ...

Habitat loss wiping out Europe's butterflies

March 16, 2010

The destruction of natural habitats in Europe is wiping out butterfly, beetle and dragonfly species across the region, the updated European "Red List" of endangered species showed Tuesday.

Flowering lantana draws butterflies -- but little water

September 11, 2009

Big color, little water, lots of butterflies. How does that sound? That's the story of lantana in a nutshell. But I'm famous for verbosely pontificating on the attributes of plants whenever I have an audience, so let's dig ...

Recommended for you

Long-sought chiral anomaly detected in crystalline material

September 3, 2015

A study by Princeton researchers presents evidence for a long-sought phenomenon—first theorized in the 1960s and predicted to be found in crystals in 1983—called the "chiral anomaly" in a metallic compound of sodium and ...

Making nanowires from protein and DNA

September 3, 2015

The ability to custom design biological materials such as protein and DNA opens up technological possibilities that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. For example, synthetic structures made of DNA could one day be ...

Ice sheets may be more resilient than thought

September 3, 2015

Sea level rise poses one of the biggest threats to human systems in a globally warming world, potentially causing trillions of dollars' worth of damages to flooded cities around the world. As surface temperatures rise, ice ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.