Posted by Hugh Smith
While the breeding season for monarchs is drawing to an end there are still a number laying eggs but more just over wintering. Over the past couple of months there has been many butterflies tagged. These butterflies have a white tag on their wings that contain the following information: MBNZT (Moths and Butterflies New Zealand Trust); mb.org.nz (website address for MBNZT) and a number (3 letters followed by 3 numerals). If you find one of these butterflies dead or alive, make a note of the number and go online to the website and ‘report a butterfly’. This is part of a national research project tracking migration patterns. If you have seen one earlier this year without recording it, you are invited to email me with your location and the approximate date (firstname.lastname@example.org). The MBNZT is seeking additional members and details on how to join, and to find out more about butterflies, just check out the website.
The butterflies that over-winter in our area will cluster together in a few trees in significant numbers at night and on cooler days. If you are aware of one of these trees, I would appreciate knowing about it (email@example.com).
Monarchs require milkweed to breed on (swan plant) and it is good to get these established now so that they are established when the breeding season begins again in spring. A caterpillar can chomp through a smallish swan plant in a relatively short time. If you would like swan plant seed or any information about monarchs, just contact me.