Most school children in the United States have at least a passing familiarity with the monarch butterfly. It is that beautiful critter seen flitting around gardens with its orange wings with black veins and margins. There are white and orange spots sprinkled around the wings which may span up to 4 inches.

The adults spend their time sipping nectar from flowers while their colorful caterpillars eat a diet of milkweed leaves. The caterpillars feed for about 10 days and then form a coccon (chrysalis) which is jade green in color with gold trim. About 12 days later, the adult butterfly emerges. There may be up to 4 different generations developed in one year.

In the fall, this strange critter begins would could be as much as a 2,000 mile migration to the south. Some of them head to Northern Mexico while others end up on the coast of Central and Southern California. In the spring, the new generation makes the return trip to their northern grounds.

No controls needed.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

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