March of Monarchs

Annual migration could top 200 million butterflies

By Bruce Felps
|  Thursday, Feb 24, 2011  |  Updated 12:00 PM CDT
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by Bruce Felps

Prepare for a butterfly onslaught.

A researcher at Texas A&M said he expects to see about 200 million Monarch butterflies flutter by during the insects’ annual migration north from Mexico to Canada.

According to a news release from the university, Craig Wilson, a senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education, and butterflyologist, said the anticipated number should double last year’s flyover.

The reason? "The area of trees that are spread between about 12 sites where they hang, or what is termed ‘festoon,’ for warmth has increased from about five acres last year to 10 acres this winter," Wilson said in the release. "That is very good news."

Good news, indeed, for people into butterflies.

If monarchs aren’t your thing, swallowtails, skippers, blues, metal marks, whites, and sulphurs plan visits as well, as much as butterflies plan anything, and certainly there’s a little something among that group for everyone. And if not, Wilson said about 400 types of butterflies and 500 varieties of moths will pass through, each, presumably, numbering in the millions, and good Lord, that is a lot of bugs.

Here are a couple of websites to learn more about the Monarchs and their migration.

Happy bug-watching.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Somehow he’s reminded of an old Moody Blues song, which, of course, is redundant.
 

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