Late-season butterflies

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I was surprised last week when I saw a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in the backyard. And on Sunday, I saw this one sunning on the ground at The Arboretum.

Danaus plexippus

I also saw this Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) land in some nearby grass. It too appeared to be soaking up the warm sunshine.

Junonia coenia - Lexington, Kentucky Neither of these butterflies can survive freezing temperatures at any stage – egg, caterpillar, chrysalis or adult. Monarchs in this area migrate to Mexico and Common Buckeyes go to the deep South.

This is the latest I have ever seen these butterflies in this area and I feel a bit concerned for their survival. However, the ways of nature are far beyond me and I can only wish them a safe journey.

Is anyone else still seeing butterflies?

10 thoughts on “Late-season butterflies”

  1. Betty: I had a Common Buckeye sunning itself on my window screen over the weekend. I was really surprised to see one at this time of year – especially since I’ve already found ice in the birdbath on some mornings!

  2. Yes, my neighbor Chris and I have both seen the monarch and buckeye as recently as a week ago. I have even observed 3 black swallowtail caterpillars on Chris’s parsley 2 days ago.

    1. Joyce, it sounds like several folks have seen the Monarchs and Buckeyes, but I’m especially surprised to know that you have black swallowtail caterpillars. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Believe it or not Betty, we still see monarchs and yellow butterflies all the way here in Grafton, Ontario (about 100 miles East of Toronto). Like you, we are worried for their survivals and hope they will make it South before it is too late.
    Your photographs are just so beautiful and a real pleasure to contemplate.
    I’m always looking forward to your new ones since I became part of your list.

    1. Good to hear from you way north in Ontario, Louise. I’m especially surprised to know you are seeing Monarchs and Sulphurs up there this late. Thanks for you feedback on the blog and will always be glad to hear what ‘s happening in your backyard.

  4. I share your concern and am reminded of the news item I saw last week about an
    unseasonably late and very large group of humming birds that sent an elderly couple
    to buy multiple feeders. It was truly amazing. There were so many that they were
    lighting and feeding in shifts and I wondered why there was such a large group, why
    they were so late in their migration, what that said about the coming winter and,
    most important, would they survive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *