News

August 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Working on the Wayne | Pollination Station

Zebra swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) on butterfly weed

Zebra swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) on butterfly weed

By Shelby Kihm
Field Ecology major interning at the Wayne National Forest

Hello everyone, botany intern back at it again.

As we all may know the milkweed plant is very important for the cycle of the monarch caterpillar. The caterpillars will only eat milkweed plants (Asclepias sp.), and the butterflies need the plant to lay their eggs. With milkweed plants diminishing due to the use of harmful chemicals, development and habitat loss, so are monarchs.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Not only is it important to keep the milkweed plants around for the Monarch butterfly but for other butterflies and insects as well.The plant is an important food source and provides shelter to many.With numbers declining in populations people are starting to take action and plant more milkweed. So find out how you can take action and plant your own milkweed plants!

Monarch caterpillars, two shown on milkweed plant

Monarch caterpillars

 

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