Plant-Insect Interaction: Monarch butterfly feeding on common milkweed

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus, Nymphalidae) feeding on a common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadaceae). Photographed 06/27/2012 at Side Cut Metropark near Maumee, Ohio.

A few weeks ago my wife and I were hiking at Side Cut Metropark near Maumee, Ohio, and we found this monarch butterfly (LepidopteraNymphalidae: Danaus plexippus) feeding on a common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadaceae). Larvae feed entirely on plants in the milkweed family, and although adults feed on a wider variety of plants they are still commonly found on milkweeds.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus, Nymphalidae) feeding on a common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadaceae). Photographed 06/27/2012 at Side Cut Metropark near Maumee, Ohio.

In spite of the well-known, well-observed, well-photographed relationship between monarchs and milkweeds, I thought these photos were too good not to share.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Plant-Insect Interaction: Monarch butterfly feeding on common milkweed

  1. I’m so happy to discover this post as I’m very interested in Monarchs and Milkweed after meeting a citizen scientist for the Monarch who has 300 milkweed plants in her Santa Monica yard. I visited with her recently and filmed an upcoming episode of “Late Bloomer.” I hope you will check it out! I learned a lot. Of course, here in CA, the native milkweeds are different, and I’m reading that scientists do not feel planting year-round blooming milkweeds are ultimately good for the Monarch. But, as their numbers have plummeted, according to a pamphlet she gave me, it’s wonderful that there is so much interest in milkweed. I’ve been trying to get my hands on Asclepias speciosa after seeing it in the California Native Plant Garden in Woodside, CA (featured in my new episode.) The blooms are stunning!

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