The host plant for monarchs, several varieties of milkweed, contain cardenolides and cardiac glycosides, bitter-tasting chemicals that could cause congestive heart failure in vertebrates. By eating these toxins and storing them in their bodies, they are vile tasting to birds. Birds quickly learn to avoid the caterpillars and orange and black butterflies.
Monarchs are famous for migrating to warmer climates when the weather cools. They winter in the high mountains of central Mexico. In the summer, the move north into North America.
Butterfly Size: 3 3/8 – 4 7/8 inches
Habitats: Found in many open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes and roadsides
Plants for the Monarch Butterfly
- Varieties of milkweed – Asclepias spp.
- Butterfly weed is one of these
- Many flowering plants and trees
- Some of these are: lantana, zinnias, abelias, vitex
Video about Monarch Migration
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Mississippi’s Lower Delta Partnership promotes and enhances the economic and environmental health of Mississippi’s Lower Delta.
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