The monarch is the most widely known and readily recognizable butterfly in the eastern United States. Between August and November each year, virtually the entire North American population of the species migrates to winter roosts in fir forests in the mountains of Mexico. Above, from left to right: Ventral view of an adult monarch feeding on a Japanese anemone in Cuxa garden; dorsal view of a male monarch hovering near a crabapple shoot; ventral view of a monarch feeding on a tubular flower of Abelia x grandiflora. Photographs by Corey Eilhardt.
The annual northern and southern migrations (see image) of the monarch (Danaus plexippus), the most beloved and familiar of North American butterflies, are monitored not only by professional lepidopterists, but also by many citizens and students across the country. In late summer and autumn, monarchs in the millions make for their ancestral wintering roosts in forests of oyamel fir trees (Abies religiosa) which grow??at heights of ten thousand feet in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Mexico. Read more »