Want to give a butterfly a helping hand?
As the Dallas Morning News reports, the super monarchs are nearing their Texas arrival, expected at the end of September.
But what’s a super monarch?
According to the paper, scientists have learned that there are four generations of monarchs every year. The first three generations live for about a month. The final, called “super,” generation, not only completes the farthest migration (nearly 3,000 miles), but also lives the longest -- a reported eight times longer than its aforementioned ascendants.
This generation, according to the University of Minnesota’s monarch lab, are incapable of laying eggs. Instead, they focus on storing up nectar and energy for their more than 80 days of travel.
So what can you do to help the creatures along their way?
Plant nectar-rich flowers. Here’s a list of some options monarchs will love.
Remove tropical milkweed from your yard. A non-native species of milkweed, this plant has been found to impede monarch travel. If you have this plant in your yard cut it back prior the monarch’s arrival.
Help fuel monarch research by becoming a “citizen scientist.” Scientists can learn a lot more about the migration and health of the monarch population when they have an abundance of information. You can help by tracking butterflies or counting the ones you see. Find out more here.
Read the Dallas Morning News’ full article on the monarch super generation to find more ways to help and other sources on monarch butterflies. And don’t forget to wish them good luck as they make their way through Texas!
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