University of Minnesota


Wanted: Unexpected Cycnia Observations

The unexpected cycnia moth (Cycnia inopinatus) is a milkweed dependent moth species. We are interested in documenting observations from throughout its geographic range (Great Plains to the East Coast), so we can learn more about its habitat requirements and where it is located. Volunteer-collected data will be used to model potential habitat throughout the entirety of its range.  Read More »

Citizen Scientists Needed to Study the Changing Milkweed Population

Biologists at the College of William and Mary are seeking volunteers to aid them in studying the genetics of Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca) in order to track and understand how monarchs and other invertebrates will respond to changes in milkweed populations. The study depends on collecting Common Milkweed samples across its native range. This means the study also depends on dedicated citizen scientists willing to collect samples! Here is the letter from Dr. Harmony Dalgleish and Dr. Joshua Puzey calling for volunteers: Read More »

2015 Population Update and Estimating the Number of Overwintering Monarchs in Mexico

Yesterday evening the eastern monarch butterfly population numbers were released to the public. The colonies measured an area of 1.13 hectares this year, up 69% from the record low population last year but still one of the lowest populations ever recorded. The monitoring, which was conducted by the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) in coordination with the WWF-Telcel Alliance, revealed that there were 9 different colonies. The El Rosario Sanctuary in Michoacán contains 50.4% of the total population this winter. The press release is available in Spanish here. Read More »

Milkweed Yellows Phytoplasma

When it comes to milkweed, we still have a lot to learn, or at least I do! You may think that the only reason milkweed exists is to be a food source for monarch caterpillars. Well, I can tell you that there is a lot more going on in the milkweed patch than caterpillars munching away at your leaves; there are many interactions taking place. Read More »

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