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Happenings in the insect world
Comments:
by Barbara Doll
on January 5, 2023 at 9:29 PM
Thank you for this article. It is very well researched and presented. I really don’t understand how so much misinformation about tropical milkweed is believed over the research of scientists and people who have been researching this for decades.
by Barbara Doll
on January 5, 2023 at 9:51 PM
It’s an excellent article. Thank you for presenting documented research showing the benefits and importance of tropical milkweed. Those of us who care deeply for butterflies have to stop fighting over this and focus on the bigger issues which are killing this beautiful butterfly.
by Rick E Borchelt
on January 6, 2023 at 10:51 AM
Of course it should be noted that this is the situation specific to California. It's quite likely that in the mid-Atlantic, tropical milkweed encourages Monarchs to break reproductive diapause on their southward migration (which means they may or may not have the energy to get to wintering grounds) and lay eggs that will never make it to adulthood.
by Don M Aguillard
on January 9, 2023 at 7:28 AM
I’m interested in learning more about increasing the Monarch butterfly population. I’m also interested in acquiring funding to plant more milkweed plants.
by Pam Carrie
on January 9, 2023 at 9:17 PM
I am happy to read this article. I do know that I have planted other milkweeds, yet the female Monarch always seem to prefer the tropical milkweed to lay their eggs on. Our home is a Monarch Waystation, and we are devoted to our garden and our Monarchs. We use no pesticides.
by Mona Miller
on January 10, 2023 at 9:12 AM
This is from the October Monarch Watch email discussion by Dr. Chip Taylor of the University of Kansas, Monarch Watch:.This was referenced and quoted in the article.  
“The Xerces rep is quoted as saying, or at least implying, that TM (tropical milkweed) causes monarchs to break diapause and become reproductive. However, there is no field evidence in support of this point. Further, I can’t replicate the small cage outcomes in the bigger screen house that I use. (UC Davis emeritus professor Hugh) Dingle suggests that it is temperature that causes monarchs to break diapause. and that is exactly what I have been saying for years. Hormone production is a function of temperature - head temperatures - and not contact with plants.”  
https://lists.ku.edu/pipermail/dplex-l/2022-October/012192.html  
 
As Monarchs migrate south, there are viable native milkweeds especially in the south. Monarchs also migrate over native milkweeds in the southern states and in Mexico. I agree with Dr. Chip Taylor that milkweed is not the trigger to break diapause. Besides temperatures, research shows that day length is a major trigger for breaking diapause. Day length does not change until the vernal equinox in Spring. This years the vernal equinox is on March 20, 2023.  
OVARIAN DORMANCY IN DANAUS PLEXIPPUS (L.) (LEPIDOPTERA: NYMPHALIDAE)—OLIGOPAUSE NOT DIAPAUSE" Dr. D. G. James  
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-6055.1982.tb01761.x/abstract
by Craig TheButterflyman.com
on January 15, 2023 at 7:50 AM
Finally, wayDaGo, Chip Taylor. A lot of the rest have to get off this "tropical is bad" thing like Sonia Altizer of www.monarchjointventure.org. All the commercial growers need to be notified now to grow clean untreated tropical milkweed so it can be in nurseries by spring www.Craigthebutterflyman.com
Reply by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on January 17, 2023 at 3:15 PM
(Editor's Note: The Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) recently noted on its website at https://monarchjointventure.org/blog/monarch-health-is-new-monarch-joint-venture-partner: "The MJV would like to extend a very warm welcome to our newest partner, Monarch Health. Monarch Health, based at the University of Georgia, is directed by Dr. Sonia Altizer who specializes in monarch parasites, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) in particular. Currently Altizer and students are working with the MJV to research the impacts of non-native milkweed on the prevalence of OE in monarchs. We are happy to support this research and excited about what Monarch Health will bring to the MJV partnership. Please welcome Monarch Health to the MJV and if you have any questions about their work, feel free to reach out to Dr. Sonia Altizer, saltizer@uga.edu.")
 
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