Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the March 3, 2008 Newsletter written in the community of 28 de Junio, in the Central Valley 8 kms east of Pujiltic, Chiapas, MÉXICO
about 800 meters in elevation, ± LAT. 16° 18'N, LONG. -92° 28'W.

Monarch Butterflies are common here, one being shown below.


I doubt that the individual in the photo will ever migrate to North America, though. My understanding is that US and Canadian migrants overwinter on cool, moist, forested mountaintops far north of here, in central Mexico. Our populations don't make the trip.

One reason Monarchs are so common here is that their host plants, the milkweeds, also are common, especially the species whose yellow and orange blossoms are being visited in the picture. That's ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA, sometimes known as the Tropical Milkweed. It's a native of South America but is now established in disturbed, weedy places throughout much of the world's tropics and subtropics, including all through Mexico.