Biological Observations of Monarch Butterfly Behavior at a Migratory Stopover Site: Results from a Long-term Tagging Study in Coastal South Carolina

  title={Biological Observations of Monarch Butterfly Behavior at a Migratory Stopover Site: Results from a Long-term Tagging Study in Coastal South Carolina},
  author={John W Mccord and Andrew K. Davis},
  journal={Journal of Insect Behavior},
Like most migratory species, monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) must stop frequently during their long southward migration to rest and refuel, and the places where they stop are important for the success of the migration. The behavior of monarch butterflies at migratory stopover sites has never been examined in detail. Here we present results of a long-term study of monarchs at one stopover site in coastal South Carolina where over 12,000 monarchs have been captured, measured and tagged… 

Characteristics of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) that stopover at a site in coastal South Carolina during fall migration

  • W. Mcc
  • Environmental Science
  • 2012
While the annual fall migration of eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) to wintering sites in central Mexico is a well-known and frequently-studied phenomenon, one aspect of

Trends Observed in Fall Migrant Monarch Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) East of the Appalachian Mountains at an Inland Stopover in Southern Pennsylvania over an Eighteen Year Period

The recovery data suggest that males are less likely to make it to Mexico and suffer higher mortality once there during normal overwintering seasons, and suggests that while early migration is beneficial to both genders, it is even more beneficial for females.

Identifying Large- and Small-Scale Habitat Characteristics of Monarch Butterfly Migratory Roost Sites with Citizen Science Observations

Considering the large variety of tree types used and the diversity of landcover types around roost sites, monarchs appear highly-adaptable in terms of roost site selection.

Opinion: conservation of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) could be enhanced with analyses and publication of citizen science tagging data

Recent declines in the size of overwintering colonies of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in eastern North America have stimulated calls for greater conservation efforts of the migratory

Species composition and dynamics in abundance of migrant and sedentary butterflies (Lepidoptera) at Gibraltar during the spring period

The sometimes very high abundance of migratory butterflies at the study site could suggest that Gibraltar is a stopover site for butterflies migrating between Africa and Europe.

Do Healthy Monarchs Migrate Farther? Tracking Natal Origins of Parasitized vs. Uninfected Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in Mexico

These findings, combined with recent declines in the numbers of migratory monarchs wintering in Mexico and observations of sedentary monarch populations in the southern U.S, suggest that shifts from migratory to sedentary behavior will likely lead to greater infection prevalence for North American monarchs.

Variation in wing characteristics of monarch butterflies during migration: Earlier migrants have redder and more elongated wings

The results suggest that the pace of migration in monarchs is at least partly dependent on the properties of their wings, and raise a number of questions about the ultimate fate of monarchs that fall behind.

Migration in butterflies: a global overview

Migratory butterflies occur worldwide, although the geographic distribution of migration in butterflies is poorly resolved, with most data so far coming from Europe, USA, and Australia.

Natural History Observations on Mass Congregation and Diapause Behaviour of Pre-Migratory Roosting Danainae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) From Sahyadri Mountains, India

The Gothos valley is confirmed as the first documented ‘annual pre-monsoonal congregation site’ of Danainae in the Indian peninsula to overcome reproductive diapause followed by theiradvancing voyages in the rain-shadow region.




Prior tagging studies at Atlantic coastal sites in New Jersey and Virginia suggested that fall migrant monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L., Nymphalidae: Danainae) of the eastern North American

An Examination of Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Autumn Migration in Coastal Virginia

Abstract Although it is known that monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in North America east of the Rocky Mountains migrate each fall to overwintering sites in central Mexico, the migratory routes

Monarch Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) Migration Monitoring at Chincoteague, Virginia and Cape May, New Jersey: A Comparison of Long-term Trends

It is found that consistently more monarchs were counted at the Cape May than at the Chincoteague site, which may indicate a greater preference for Cape May as a stopover site or its proximity to the tip of the peninsula where monarchs accumulate in unfavorable weather.

Long-Term Monitoring and Fall Migration Patterns of the Monarch Butterfly in Cape May, New Jersey

Comparison of season averages across years indicated a highly fluctuating population size with the lowest year on record in 2004, and it was found that greater than average daily counts, which were termed “notable migration days,” were reported for an average of 19 d per season.

Fueling the fall migration of the monarch butterfly.

It is proposed that for much of their journey monarchs are opportunistic migrants, and the variation within and between samples reflects butterflies' individual experiences, and changes in nectar availability are altering the butterflies' ability to accumulate energy.

The fall migration flyways of monarch butterflies in eastern North America revealed by citizen scientists

The migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) from Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in Mexico is one of the world’s most amazing biological phenomena, although recent

The Influence of Eastern North American Autumnal Migrant Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.) on Continuously Breeding Resident Monarch Populations in Southern Florida

It was determined through cardenolide fingerprinting that most of the butterflies had bred on the local southern Florida milkweed species, Asclepias curassavica, which is evidence against the southern Florida populations receiving overwintered remigrants from Cuba, Central America or Mexico.

Are female monarch butterflies declining in eastern North America? Evidence of a 30-year change in sex ratios at Mexican overwintering sites

Additional evidence from autumn migration collections appears to confirm that proportions of females are declining, and also suggests the sex ratio is shifting on breeding grounds, while breeding monarchs face a number of threats.


Each year monarch butterflies migrate from breeding grounds in the United States and Canada to the Transvolcanic Belt of central Mexico. Here, within the montane fir forests, they initially aggregate

Characteristics of fall migratory monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, in Minnesota and Texas: Biology and Conservation

The physical characteristics of monarchs at different times and locations along the migratory route are reported, providing information on the phenomenon of fall reproduction, possible effects of size and wing condition on migratory success, and effects of flight on wing condition and mass.