Monarchs and Milkweed of Los Angeles

To participate in this project, simply take photos of any Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) or milkweed plants (Genus Asclepias) that you see in Greater Los Angeles, and post to this project.

Observations may also be submitted by emailing nature@nhm.org.

Monarch observations may include monarchs in any one of their four life cycle stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), adult (butterfly). http://www.monarchwatch.org/biology/cycle1.htm

Greater Los Angeles is defined as: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Ventura County.

Posted on March 04, 2014 07:30 PM by rsmart rsmart | 6 comments | Leave a comment

Recent observations View all

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

chrisw

Date

February 15, 2015

Description

Found a monarch butterfly on my milkweed (possibly offspring from my last years caterpillars) next to the biggest caterpillar on my milkweed, (possibly it's baby) and my dad took this picture of it. I found 5 caterpillars on the milkweed in my backyard.

rsmart Project curator ID

Danaus plexippus

Photos / Sounds

What

Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

February 18, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"Found this seed pod on my milkweed today. This afternoon, there was a soft offshore breeze that was just about ready to loft all these seeds into the air.

"After I took the photo, I snipped off the seed pod and put it into a small paper bag. That is where I keep my seed collection."

- Barbara Lindsay

Observation and photos by Barbara Lindsay, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

January 30, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"January 6 2015. I found a large caterpillar on a milkweed in my front yard.

"January 18th. Cat attempted to attach the chrysalis to a stucco wall near the plant. I found the chrysalis on the ground, with bits of decomposed granite attached to it. It also had bits of the caterpillar shell at the top, and that was easily removed. Other than being slightly misshapen on the side that was resting on the ground, the chrysalis looked OK.
I brought it into the house, and initially tried to embed the cremaster into the cotton end of a swab. I read that it needs to hang to develop properly.

"January 19th. The next day, I secured the cremaster to the swab with some cotton thread. It hung from the inside edge of a plastic container padded with facial tissue until January 30th.

"January 30th. I was startled to find a butterfly on the edge of the container, just starting to exercise his wings. I quickly covered the butterfly and the container with a tissue, and took him outside, placing him next to a milk weed plant. He did fine!"

- Barbara Lindsay

Observation and photos by Barbara Lindsay, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

February 3, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"I planted three milkweeds in my yard in August 2014 under west facing windows.

"January 6 2015, I noticed this large caterpillar on the milkweed.

"January 13th. Formed a "j", then a chrysalis underneath a windowsill close to the plant. The second chrysalis photo was taken a few hours before enclosure.

"February 3rd. He successfully enclosed in the afternoon. It was very fast. One photo was taken right after he climbed out; he was hanging on to his chrysalis shell and waiting for his wings to dry.

"February 5th. He found two companion butterflies and was spending time in my yard."

- Barbara Lindsay

Observation and photos by Barbara Lindsay, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

January 6, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"I planted three milkweeds in my yard in August 2014 under west facing windows. On January 6, 2015, I noticed this caterpillar on the milkweed." - Barbara Lindsay

Observation and photos by Barbara Lindsay, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

February 12, 2015

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"Late last summer I discovered after recently moving to this house that NOTHING would really grow on on the "hot" side of my yard without tons of care and water. I typically avoid annuals and water hogging plants and prefer perennials, since we have drought conditions here.

"That's how I came to purchase an Asclepias tuberosa for this location. Drought resistant and had amazing flowers...

"About two weeks ago, I noticed a monarch all around this particular plant on one of the first really warm, sunny days. Knowing their history and that this milkweed had a couple of flowers blooming on it, I didn't really consider it a huge deal. About a week and a half after that, the plant was really dying off and I checked it to see what was the matter. I quickly found the cause. (see shots 1, 2, 3)

"These tiny caterpillars of course quickly began to grow and devoured that entire plant.

"Seeing they were hungry and getting larger, we purchased a couple local milkweed plants that were not treated with pesticides at a local nursery. These were about 2.5' high with larger leaves and multiple stems. I set them in a pot near the devoured plant and they soon got the idea an jumped on. After about 2 days they ate the entire lot, stems and all. Much bigger now, there were about 25 survivors all in instar 4 or 5. That's when I called you, since I wasn't sure what to do with them...
(see shots 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

"They've since wandered off and into the surrounding trees to hopefully make it to pupation... :)"

- Diana Westburg

Observation and photos by Diana Westburg, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Date

February 1, 2015

Description

Male monarch butterfly spotted in the Pleistocene Garden at the Page Museum. Photo by Gallery Interpreter Ashley Hall.

rsmart Project curator ID

Danaus plexippus

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus

Observer

kmoyd

Date

January 26, 2015 12:28 AM PST

Place

Altadena (Google, OSM)

Description

On Lantana

rsmart Project curator ID

Danaus plexippus

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 20, 2014 11:38 AM PST

Description

Observation and photo by Kara Lo. Taken during the NHM Nature Navigators program.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus

Observer

ajferrara

Date

July 25, 2014 10:14 AM PDT

Description

One of a few monarchs I saw today, using Narrow-Leaf Milkweed.

rsmart Project curator ID

Danaus plexippus

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

rsmart

Date

January 21, 2015

Description

I saw this monarch caterpillar crawling on some tropical milkweed in the Nature Gardens at NHM.

-Richard Smart

rsmart Project curator ID

Danaus plexippus

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

January 18, 2015 12:52 PM PST

Description

"The attached photo was taken on 1/18/15 at the South Bay Botanical Gardens in Palos Verdes."
- Lisa Lazar

Observation and photo by Lisa Lazar and family, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 4, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"I planted several milkweed plants 2 years ago and now have an amazing life cycle going on in my backyard!" - Heather Morrison

Observation and photo by Heather Morrison, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

January 4, 2015

Description

"I took these three milkweed pictures on Sun., Jan. 4, in our front yard. The monarchs seem to like it." - Sally Palm

Observation and photos by Sally Palm.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

January 10, 2015 08:00 AM PST

Description

"I found this guy in the middle of the path at the La Brea Tar Pits, near the Page Museum. It wasn't flying and seemed to be stumbling quite a bit, so I scooped him up and placed him on the nearest flowering plant I could find before a group of joggers came by.

This was at 8:00 am on Jan. 10, 2015. The weather was pretty cool and it was just starting to rain." - Ranjit

Observation and photos by Ranjit, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 25, 2014

Description

"I have 6 milkweed plants in my yard (two different varieties- 2 thin leaf). Within the past month I counted 11 caterpillars on 1 plant. I currently have 1 on another plant. Waiting for my Monarchs Butterflies." - Julia Marin

Observation and photo by Julia Marin, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 23, 2014 09:20 AM PST

Description

"2 chrysalis (there are 2-3 more elsewhere) 14 larvae loving Belmont Shore." - Susie Hughes

Observation and photos by Susie Hughes, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

October 12, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Observation and photo by Cesar, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 18, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"These pictures were taken from Oct. 25,2014 to Dec. 18, 2014. As I observed, it takes more than two weeks for the caterpillar to reach its maturity, and another two weeks before it came from its cocoon...and hang for 2 hours to dry out, and gain its strength to fly." - Cesar

Observation and photos by Cesar, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 14, 2014 09:09 AM PST

Description

"Here are separate pictures of two boy monarchs. They both emerged from their chrysalis stage on Dec 13, 2014 and took flight on Dec 14. Very exciting as this is our first experience with monarchs. We were just starting to plant milkweed and noticed caterpillars!" - Carol Johnson

Observation and photos by Carol Johnson, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 21, 2014 08:06 AM PST

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"Five caterpillars on this potted tropical milkweed in Pasadena. Container is 24". There are several milkweeds in the garden, self-sown." - Linda Stowitts

Observation and photo by Linda Stowitts, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Bloodflower Milkweed Asclepias curassavica

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 22, 2014 02:14 PM PST

Description

"This picture was taken in our backyard in La Mirada." - Carol Johnson

Observation and photo by Carol Johnson, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 22, 2014 02:14 PM PST

Description

"This picture was taken in our backyard in La Mirada." - Carol Johnson

Observation and photo by Carol Johnson, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 9, 2014 07:08 AM PST

Description

"This picture was taken in our backyard in La Mirada..." - Carol Johnson

Observation and photo by Carol Johnson, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

October 27, 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

"I live in Pasadena and planted 3 milkweed (including 1 asclepias physocarpa) in September. Within 2 weeks, I observed several Monarchs and soon after a continuous cycle of caterpillars. I'm so excited to do my small part to restoring the Monarch population and am planning on planting more milkweed." - Nancy Shiffman

Observation and photo by Nancy Shiffman, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 19, 2014 02:03 PM PST

Description

"We have over 15 caterpillars. Thoroughly enjoying Mother Nature at its finest." - Susie Hughes

Observation and photos by Susie Hughes, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

December 19, 2014 08:03 AM PST

Description

"I have an drought tolerant garden that is a haven for Monarchs. Milkweed in front and back and have my neighbor participating as well." - Maureen Russac

Observation and photos by Maureen Russac, sent to nature@nhm.org.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Danaus plexippus

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 22, 2014

Description

Observation and photos by the Tar Pit Museum docent, taken during biodiversity training.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Bloodflower Milkweed Asclepias curassavica

Observer

nhm_nature

Date

November 22, 2014

Description

Observation and photo by the Tar Pit Museum docents, taken during biodiversity training.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus

Observer

toysmum

Date

December 10, 2014

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Several monarch caterpillars on a milkweed bush, Descanso Gardens, CA

rsmart Project curator ID

Danaus plexippus
More observations

About

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) has begun studying our local urban environment to better understand the biodiversity that lives in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Part of this study includes knowing where local populations of monarch butterflies and milkweed plants are found.

Why are we including milkweed plants in our monarch study? Milkweed is a host plant for ...more ↓

10814 mini rsmart created this project on March 04, 2014

Is this inappropriate, spam, or offensive? Add a flag

Logo eee 15px
Embed a widget for this project on your website