Sunday, November 11, 2012

Minnesota State Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly
 In 1998 Minnesota chose the monarch to represent it as the state butterfly. Although monarchs are very common to Minnesota and very beautiful I am not sure that it is the best choice to represent Minnesota and its population.First off as a larva, or caterpillar, the monarch eats only milkweed. The monarch above is perched on butterfly weed which is a type of milkweed plant. The liquids inside the milkweed are toxic to many creatures so as the monarch caterpillar eats the milkweed it too becomes toxic. This is a great defense mechanism to keep predators away but as a representative of Minnesota what does it say about the state. Second the monarch is one of the few butterflies that migrate south for the winter. While we do have a population of snowbirds here in Minnesota most of us can not afford to spend the winter on the southern California coast or in the mountains of central Mexico, like the monarchs do. Most of us have to stick around Minnesota during the winter and do our best to survive. There are several species of butterflies, like the mourning cloak or eastern comma, that over winter in Minnesota as an adult butterfly. Perhaps they might have been a better choice but I am sure that the legislators that chose the monarch as the state butterfly did not put as much thought into it as I am. 




12 comments:

HansHB said...

WOW, - your photo is awesome!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Stunning capture of the butterfly's wing details! And lovely flower!

DeniseinVA said...

Both butterfly and flower are so lovely, and I enjoyed reading your post very much. Thanks for sharing. From Denise at Today's Flowers.

Liz said...

Fantastic shot! Have a fabulous week. Mine are here and here.

namaki said...

Wow ! It's so hard to capture butterflies .... this monarch is splendid , thanks to the photographer !

Marie said...

Great photo! You do make some interesting points about their choice.

Judy said...

Gorgeous capture!! Here in Ontario, they wanted to make the blue jay the provincial bird, despite the fact that it eats the eggs and fledglings of many other species. I think they simply look for something easy to identify...

Edna B said...

What a gorgeous butterfly. I'm new to your blog, and I just love your bird photos. Thank you for sharing.

Andrea said...

I think you surmised correctly. Not many know as much as you do about natures creatures and they look only at what they see in the moment. The Monarch is a beautiful butterfly and if that is what they are saying about your state ... that it is a beaufiful place, they would be right. But then, you still have a good point :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Genie said...

This butterfly looks like stained glass. That a beautiful capture. Well, I have my Slbley's book, my Sibley's bird calls on my iPhone so I am ready to start learning about the babes in my yard. The thistle seed is out and they are chowing down. I have decided I am not too old to start learning about them. genie

lorik said...

It looks as if the people who chose this butterfly judged it only by appearance...and probably didn't even research it's eating habits.
It certainly is very magjestic looking with that strong colour and striking pattern.
Thank you for being part of Mandarin Orange Monday:)

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