The Texas Butterfly Ranch does a lot of education and outreach.  Here’s a recent presentation we’ve been doing to help spread the gospel of the life cycle.  Warning:  it’s a big fat file with lots of photos, but we think it’s worth it.

Wondering about milkweed species?   We recently wrote an article about Aslcepias curassavica for the Native Plant Society of Texas Magazine.  It includes info about the pros and cons of planting nonnative milkweed.

Attracting Monarchs:  native vs. nonnative milkweeds

Attracting Monarchs in the NPSOT NEws

32 thoughts on “Resources

  1. We have new monarch caterpillars on our milkweed (May 28). We’re relative newcomers to the subject – is this unusual?

  2. Ms. Maeckle,
    We would like to help educate the folks of our community about the Bring Back the Monarch program and the migration of butterflies through Texas. Specifically, we want to engage children and their parents in our Town of Flower Mound Texas and teach them about the steps they can take to support the Monarch’s migration at a program at our Public Library on Oct 6. Do you provide such a program or could you recommend someone we could contact in North Texas that could provide a 30 – 45 minute educational program.

    Tom Kirwan
    The Flower Mound Foundation

  3. I am happy to discover your site by way of The Monarch Watch in Kansas. This year, we “got serious” about creating a habitat on our rural Douglas County Kansas location. The information you publish is very helpful and interesting to read. I applaud your efforts to educate enthusiasts like myself. Thank you so much for your hard work to protect this fragile ecosystem! Visit our blog and macro photography at The Lepidoptera Buffet.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed your article about Catalina Trail. It is sad but not at all surprising that her significant contribution to the “discovery” of the Monarch overwintering sites was basically ignored in the National Geographic article published in 1976. I read the original NG article (Vol. 150, NO. 2) and will obtain Halpern’s book. Thank you for presenting Ms. Trail’s version of the events.

  5. I was present at your presentation in San Angelo today. Thanks so much for your knowledgeable and beautiful presentation!

  6. Having been to El Rosario & Chincua in Feb. ’10 with my husband & several students, seeing the Monarch clusters was an unforgettable experience for everyone. I’m looking forward to visiting the Butterfly Ranch next time I’m in Austin.

    • Thank you for reading, Lillian. The Texas Butterfly Ranch is a state of mind as of now, but stay tuned!


  7. We are in the process of transitioning our entire front/back yard to a butterfly habitat. Our family and friends are sure to follow after seeing the extended benefactors (dragaonflies, frogs, bees, etc.). Thank you, for the website.

  8. My grandchildren just moved to Austin. I live and have taught in Philadelphia and have raised Monarch Butterflies from the caterpillar stage through all the cycle; we have often tagged them but always set them free on their journey. I want to bring some caterpillars with me to my grandchildren’s classrooms when I visit on September 14. Will I be able to easily find some milkweed for the teachers to keep them for a short time in their last stages, so the kids will be able to see them make chrysalises and emerge from their chrysalises. I will be leaving Austin Sept 17. If I have a butterfly I can also show the kids in the classroom how to tag them. It will be really important for my grandkids to have me do something special in their classes.
    Can you advise me about finding the milkweed, *(I don’t want to fly with chrysalises)
    and possibly late stage caterpillars? Thanks. Rhoda Kanevsky

    • Hi Rhoda,
      Finding milkweed can be an iffy proposition late in the season, but you can call some Austin nurseries and ask them if they have clean, untainted milkweed. I love Barton Springs Nursery and the Great Outdoors there. As for butterflies, my friend Barbara Dorf in Rockport raises Monarchs and could probably ship you some to Austin. Her company is called Big Tree Butterflies, and you can reach her at this link: Please tell her I sent you and good luck with your classroom presentations. –Monika

  9. I need some advice.

    We’ve tagged three Monarchs since 9-11. As of this date, 9-20, we’re still seeing one of the females and the male in our yard. Am I tagging too early? (This is our first experience with the tagging.)

    We have another five caterpillars that we’re rearing and four chrysalises that will open in a few days. Definitely less activity than this time last year.

    Thanks for all your great information!

    • If males and females are hanging out, they are likely reproducing and very unlikely to migrate. But you didn’t know that when you tagged them, so I wouldn’t worry about it. We often have a group of Monarchs that are still reproducing, but their offspring will likely migrate, so save some tags for them. Good luck and stay in touch. –MM

      • I neglected to mention we reared the butterflies that we tagged, so they started out here. But I watched the tagged female lay one egg so I brought it in and will keep track of that. Our tagged male is hanging out at the mistflower, hoping to score. He keeps running off the Queens!

  10. Where can I buy monarch caterpillars? I tried but they don’t have any. I would prefer a Texas source. Thank you.

  11. Hi Monika,
    It’s mid spring here in Adelaide, Australia and there are no eggs on my milkweed as yet. We are heading to Dallas, Texas and Mexico City mid Feb 2014 to visit one of the overwintering sites near Zitacauro, I think that’s right. Today I was working on the Butterfly Conservation Society of South Australia (BCSA) stand at the showground and spoke to Jill Davies who mentioned your website. I have a photographic lifecycle book on my website but its not financially viable even at distributor rates to send overseas as yet. I could send you a copy for future reference? There is an email address on my website if you have any questions.
    Kind regards,

  12. Hi Monika,

    I was visiting Houston (north side) over Thanksgiving. My sister tends a butterfly garden near her home in a public park. I saw two Monarch caterpillars on what is left of the milkweed plants… one was munching on the very LAST leaf. I have a good photo of one of them. This was after a night that dropped below 30 degrees. Will these eventually migrate late? Thank you,

    Chuck Sizer, Washington, DC

    • They may migrate–or they may remain part of the local community. It’s not uncommon in Houston. My understanding is that year round colonies exist in certain specific ecosystems.

  13. It’s a very slow year for Monarch’s here in Louisiana. I’ve seen very few, and non of my milkweed plants have signs of eggs or cats. Do you think it will just be a late season, or just an unfortunate slow year?

  14. I have a question regarding a habitat project I am currently working on. Can someone call me at 702-581-8385. Thank you for your consideration.

  15. I have a situation that has occurred twice in as many months-aggressive Monarch butterflies! Last month and today I have witnessed a butterfly actually attack the other butterflies in my garden! I dealt with it earlier today and was only able to break them up by spraying them with water! Then the aggressive one attacked me! She got stuck in my hair (I have curly hair) and I ran onto my screened back porch. She is now inside my porch enclosure and I don’t know what to do with her! ANY advise would be greatly appreciated!

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