Everybody knows that birds migrate. This means that during certain seasons they travel over special routes. But few people realize that many butterflies, and some moths, also migrate. One example of this is the painted-lady butterfly. Each spring it travels from Mexico to California. In Europe, the same kind of butterfly crosses the Mediterranean in the spring, going from northern Africa to Europe. When there is a butterfly migration, thousands, and even millions, travel together across the sky.
The best known of all migrating butter8ies is the monarch. It spends the winter along with the Gulf of Mexico and other southern areas. In spring, the young female lays her eggs on the milkweed plants that have begun to grow. The caterpillars that hatch from the eggs feed on the milkweed leaves.
When the adult butterflies develop, they fly some distance north. There they mate and lay eggs on the milkweed that has just begun to grow with the advance of spring. Now, this is an interesting kind of migration. Because it means that within a few month’s time several generations of monarch butterflies travel farther and farther north in search of milkweed. By the time it is late summer and the monarch butterflies reach Canada, they are not the original ones that started out but descendants of them!
When autumn approaches and cooler weather appears, the monarchs that have survived fly back in great numbers. They make a huge swarm of butterflies in the sky, and people have seen them spread out in a swarm 20 miles wide! Such masses of butterflies migrate like this year after year, and they always follow the same routes.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Butterflies?
3. Meadow brown.
4. Small white.
6. Small tortoiseshell.
8. Red admiral.