Danaus plexippus – Monarch

Caterpillar foods: milkweeds

The first Monarchs usually arrive here by the end of June, and the last of the migrating ones are gone by the end of September.

Since 2017 we’ve been doing a ‘migration count’.  We count all the adult Monarchs we see on our afternoon walks from the middle of August until the migration is over.  Since we take the same walk every afternoon, at about the same time, the numbers give us some idea of how the year has gone for the Monarchs, and the timing of the peak of the migration.  Here’s the chart we’ve made of those counts.

During migration they nectar on Rough Blazing Star, New England Aster, native thistles, and Stiff and Showy Goldenrod.



monarch on goldenrod 9-4-05 1



monarch 8-8-05 1



Monarch 9-5-11 1



monarch 8-28-13 2



monarch 8-28-13



monarch 8-31-14



Monarch 9-9-14 2



monarch 9-29-12



monarch 10-19-08


10/26/2014  A late Monarch – newly emerged; resting in the sun getting up enough energy to fly

monarch 10-26-14


11/2/2014  This is the latest I’ve ever seen a Monarch.  I think the odd coloration must be damage from the cold.

monarch 11-2-14


7/12/2009  Monarch caterpillar on Whorled Milkweed

monarch caterpillar 7-12-09 2


7/21/2009  Monarch caterpillars on Common Milkweed

monarch caterpillars 7-21-09 2


8/6/2005  Monarch chrysalis

monarch chrysalis 8-6-05 1


8/9/2005  close to emergence

monarch chrysalis 8-9-05 1


8/10/2005  almost ready to emerge

monarch chrysalis 8-10-05 1


8/10/2005  newly emerged Monarch

monarch emerging 8-10-05 1



monarch on rudbeckia


9/5/2010  This is the only time I’ve seen a light colored Monarch.

light monarch 1 - 9-5-10


5/28/2014  mated pair

mated monarchs 5-28-14


9/10/2010  Migrating Monarchs on Showy Goldenrod

monarchs on showy goldenrod


9/6/2010  Migrating Monarchs on Stiff Goldenrod

monarchs on stiff goldenrod