Milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

Symbiotic Relationship by on Prezi

milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

Look closer and you can see monarch caterpillars munching on the leaves of many Milkweed plants. This symbiotic relationship, in which the. There is a symbiotic relationship between the native milkweed plants and the monarch. The monarch butterflies enjoy the nectar from the. Symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected . Ex: monarch butterflies and milkweed. Ex: hermit crab to.

The food of monarchs

It is the amazing life story of the monarch — a delicate summer breeze- borne butterfly that has the endurance to travel the length of a continent. Each year as our summer fades these fragile beauties begin their epic journey south.

Past the Great Lakes, through the Appalachian forests, and past the Texas coasts all the way to a few acres of Oyamel fir cloud forest in Mexico.

milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

Changes to global weather patterns have decimated populations in their wintering grounds — like the deep freeze of a couple years ago. Still these few small areas of central Mexico are the only places they travel to. When you see a monarch arrive in your garden, stop and realize that it has taken generations to get here.

They slowly began to make their way across the US and stopped to have another generation.

milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

If all goes well, the second or third generation will make it to your back yard. Many starve if they cannot find sufficient wildflower nectar in farmlands to sustain them, and rainstorms, windstorms, and pesticides are often fatal to them. There is a symbiotic relationship between the native milkweed plants and the monarch.

The monarch butterflies enjoy the nectar from the flowers and help pollinate the plants.

The food of monarchs | William & Mary

Unfortunately, there are no substitutes for where monarchs can lay their eggs. Swamp milkweed in Altona Forest damp growing conditions Monarch on common milkweed dry growing conditions Milkweed is a broad-leafed native plant that is used by monarchs as their only nursery. Monarchs lay eggs on the undersides of the leaves and their larvae become striped caterpillars and feed on the leaves as they develop.

Without the milkweed, the caterpillars would die — but Ontario put milkweed on the noxious weeds list which forced its eradication.

The leaf tissue, food for developing monarch caterpillars, is rich in the toxic compounds, as well. In fact, monarchs are famous for their ability to sequester cardenolides, thereby making both caterpillar and adult unpalatable to predators.

Plants in the east have a higher nitrogen to carbon ratio, while plants in the north show higher levels of toxic compounds.

milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

He brought milkweed plants dug up from all over the eastern half of the U. There are short plants, skinny plants, scraggly plants with yellowing leaves and sturdy plants that look capable of feeding an armada of caterpillars. Even in this common environment, you can see the difference in the species.

milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

The first tests, when the plants were collected in the field, showed quite a bit of variability, but after the plants had settled in the greenhouse for a while, something strange happened. It was pretty neat to see them all level out.

Monarchs and Milkweed – The Precarious Cycle | My Altona Forest

These butterflies go all the way to Mexico to overwinter on oyamel fir trees. The overwintering monarchs come out of diapause — becoming sexually viable — in the spring and make a short hop to Texas, where they reproduce. That second generation continues the northeastern migration. De La Mater said it takes three to five returning generations of monarchs to populate the range and produce the next Mexico-bound migratory generation.

He also added that there are two other populations of monarchs.

milkweed monarch butterfly symbiotic relationship

A population of the butterflies in southern Florida is nonmigratory.