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Scientifically Tagged Butterfly found at Fulton Learning Center

Hannah displays the tagged butterfly.
Hannah displays the tagged butterfly.
A scientifically tagged monarch butterfly was found at Fulton 4-5 Learning Center on Wednesday, November 8th.     Scientists at Monarch Watch (http://www.monarchwatch.org/ ) were contacted and the tagging number was relayed to them.     We found out that this particular butterfly had been tagged in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and had traveled 630 miles to our campus before its life cycle ended.   All science lab classes were shown the tagged butterfly and important facts about the monarch were shared:

  • It is the state insect for Texas and 5 other states.
  • It can travel between 25 - 100 miles a day.
  • Instincts drive this insect to leave the eastern half of the US in the fall and migrate to a specific forested area in Mexico to survive the winter.
  • It can take up to two months to complete their journey to winter habitats in Mexico.
  • The orange and black color of a monarch butterfly's wings is a warning color which lets potential predators know that the butterfly will taste bad or may be toxic.
  • They migrate from as far as the Northeastern US and Canada down to their wintering grounds in Central Mexico to escape the frosts of winter.
  • The average life span of an overwintering monarch is only 7 – 8 months.    Some generations, however, live for only for a few weeks.
  • Adult monarchs feed on nectar from many flowers while the larval stage eats the foliage of milkweed plants.
  • Texas is an important state in monarch migration because it is positioned between the main breeding grounds in the north and the overwintering areas in Mexico. Monarchs funnel through Texas both in the fall and the spring.
  • One of their flyways is situated along the Texas coast and lasts roughly from the third week of October to the middle of November.
  • Anyone can report monarch migration data to:   http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/monarch.html
  • The population levels of this insect are declining and citizens are encouraged to help the insect by planting milkweeds and nectar sources for them.
(FLC)-Updated:  
Close up view of the butterfly
Close up view of the butterfly
Difference in appearance between male and female
Difference in appearance between male and female
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