Retrieved 15 December Car strikes also remove a large portion of migrating butterflies from the overall population. There are two primary populations of monarch butterflies, the western population, and the eastern population. Males that produce larger spermatophores also fertilize more females’ eggs. At first, the chrysalis is long, soft, and somewhat amorphous, but over a few hours it compacts into its distinct shape — an opaque, pale-green chrysalis with small golden dots near the bottom, and a gold-and-black rim around the dorsal side near the top. Monarchs obtain moisture and minerals from damp soil and wet gravel, a behavior known as mud-puddling. Re-establishing milkweed is crucial.
The monarch butterfly or simply monarch Danaus plexippus is a milkweed butterfly subfamily Danainae in the family Nymphalidae. The western North American population of monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains often migrates to sites in southern California but has been found in overwintering Mexican sites as well. The name “monarch” is believed to be given in honor of King William III of England, whose secondary title Prince of Orange makes a reference to the butterfly’s main color. In Homeric Greek, his name means “one who urges on horses”, i. Linnaeus divided his large genus Papilio, containing all known butterfly species, into what we would now call subgenera. The Danai festivi formed one of the “subgenera”, containing colorful species, as opposed to the Danai candidi, containing species with bright white wings. Linnaeus wrote: ” Danaorum Candidorum nomina a filiabus Danai Aegypti, Festivorum a filiis mutuatus sunt. Six subspecies and two color morphs of D. On other Hawaiian islands, the white morph occurs at a relatively low frequency.
Adult monarchs feed on the nectar of many flowers, but they breed only where milkweeds are found. Photo by Janet Mukai. Knowlton Creek field, a monarch larva monitoring site in Duluth, Minnesota. Photo by Gail Gilland. Many butterflies have a single plant required as a food source for their larval form called a host plant. Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly.