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Happenings in the insect world
Comments:
by Mark Danenhauer
on March 5, 2019 at 10:02 AM
Thanks for sharing. This is very interesting and a bit concerning...
by Milli Wright
on March 5, 2019 at 10:21 AM
Dr Shapiro - I am so relieved to have read this account of your observations and conclusions. I am a Master Gardener in San Jose trying to figure out 'why'. We hear and see all that you are observing and evaluating. May I make a copy to add to my 'study'? Your observations are so important -- especially concerning A. curassavica.
by Yvonne Rasmussen
on March 20, 2019 at 11:29 AM
Kathy, thank you for sharing this very important information and Dr. Shapiro, thank you for your research and insights on this and other butterfly topics. This information is very helpful with key critical points I will pass along to everyone who asks about Monarch decline and possible solutions. I am the UC Master Gardener Coordinator in Napa County and this has been a topic of much discussion for us and home gardeners for several years. Thank you so very much.
by Nicholas Lethaby
on March 27, 2019 at 4:35 PM
Based on what I have been seeing in Santa Barbara, the recent drought has been pretty devastating for many butterflies so I am surprised to see it has led to increases on the transect. It would be very interesting to understand why. In my area, once common species seem to have completely disappeared, with Harford's Sulphur being a good example. I am pretty confident they will come back if we get a run of years with reasonable rainfall. I would make a couple of observations about what could have happened in 2018. At least down here, we had NO rain until mid-Jan when one storm dropped a couple of inches in a few hours. Then we had no further rain until March, when we got 7-8 inches over the month. This led to a strange season where numbers of many species were very low and with some exceptionally late emergences (e.g. California Sister flying in late Dec etc.). While the rainfall situation was likely not as bad around Sacramento, I would imagine it was similar in having a late season bias. We felt that many individuals of many species simply may never have emerged (and waited until 2019?). The other possible explanation is that given the butterfly populations were going up in the drought, perhaps the very wet winter of 2016/17 had a delayed effect on butterfly populations (such as an increase in larval parasites in 2017) that manifested itself in low numbers in 2018. Given that we just had another wet winter, it will be interesting to see if numbers are really low in 2020.
 
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