The Monarch Butterfly is one of the most recognizable butterflies in North America. Their wings are a deep orange with black borders and veins, and white spots along the edges. The North American monarch was adopted as the official State insect by Texas Legislature in 1995. Monarch butterflies are one of the main pollinator insects.

It is the only butterfly that migrates. Their migration is twice a year - north to Canada and south to Mexico for the winter. The butterflies that make it back to Mexico are three to four generations removed from the ones that left.

The Monarch Butterfly population has decreased by 90% since the 1990s. The biggest reasons for their decline are habitat loss (loss of milkweed) and climate change. The only thing the monarch caterpillars eat is milkweed and the only thing the butterflies lay their eggs on is milkweed. 

We can help increase the monarch butterfly population by planting native milkweed and other nectar plants. The most common native milkweed in north Texas is green milkweed and antelope horn milkweed. Tropical milkweed can also be planted it is easy to grow just make sure to cut back in October this will ensure monarch butterflies continue their migration.

Another way to help is to create a butterfly waystation. Read about how to create a waystation here.

More about Monarchs