Friday, March 1, 2013

Red Car Property: Monarch Watch

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2013.  I did not realize this was a Monarch Butterfly until I downloaded the photos.  All I saw was a large orange butterfly.  I was shooting from 10 yards away, while it was feeding on non-native, invasive Wild Radish flowers, at the north end of the Red Car Property, above the historic viaduct footings.  (Shoot first, ask questions later.  Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 28, 2013.  LA County Natural History Museum is partnering with Butterflies and Moths of North America conducting butterfly survey to track the 236 species found in Los Angeles.  They invite the public to submit photos of butterflies & moths found in the wild in LA County (not raised in captivity).

Monarch populations are declining due to deforestation and Milkweed die-off.  (Native Kotolo Milkweed grows on the northern end of the red Car Property.  It is a slow growing plant that often gets destroyed, before going to seed, when the City does brush clearance with a bulldozer.)

The Natural History Museum only shows photos of 8 species of butterflies on their website. So here's a few other resources for identification & education:

Butterflies and Moths of North America
Butterflies & Their Larval Foodplants (UCI)
Monarch Watch