Luke and I did our usual stroll through Phillippi Estate today. Since dogs aren’t normally allowed in the park, I always take full advantage of the fact that they’re allowed at the farmers market. We go almost every Wednesday so when I locked the door and realized my camera was still inside, I shrugged and headed to the car. I already had some m’s in mind for today…mums, mango, milkweed. But then I spotted two Monarchs Mating on the hammock trail! Nooooooooooooooooo! Why didn’t I grab my camera??? To use a couple more M’s, the Mating Monarchs seemed to be Mocking Me More every extra Minute they remained Mounted like a Magnet in the trees! This isn’t the first time YouTube has come to my rescue. The video is a little long, but a couple of seconds will show you how the butterflies were perched in the trees.
They flew twice to reposition, or one flew and the other hung on. It reminded me of some research I came across when hatching Monarchs in the laundry room. This is from The Last Monarch Butterfly: Conserving the Monarch Butterflies in a Brave New World by Phil Schappert.
Male Monarchs use their size and mass advantage to aggressively ‘attack’ and subdue other Monarchs, grappling in the air and falling to the ground, where they attempt to mate. If successful in obtaining a copulation the male will carry the female to a shrub or tree to finish mating. An intriguing side issue of this tactic is that smaller males are often the target of attacks by larger males and male-male interactions among Monarchs are relatively common.
Yikes! If you didn’t know this was Lettuce Share, you might think I was talking about the behavior of prison inmates over sweet delicate butterflies!