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by Tony Gomez

5 months ago

Raising Book Resources

Raising Hope for the 2022 Monarch Migration- Raise The Migration Results

5 months ago

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By Tony Gomez

Raise the Migration 2022- Share Your Experience Raising Monarchs through the Butterfly Life Cycle

by Tony Gomez

5 months ago

Raise The Migration is an annual North American challenge to raise monarch butterflies to release for fall’s annual monarch migration. The time has come to share your 2022 experience and raise it forward…

Raise the Migration 2022- Share Your Experience Raising Monarch Butterflies

The raising season is coming to an end, so we’d love to hear how many butterflies you released for fall’s annual 2022 monarch migration…and more importantly, what lessons you’ve learned through this amazing raising experience?

If you’ve still got some raising to do, raise on! But please post in the comment box at the bottom of this page after you’ve released your last butterfly.

Every year, I start Raise The Migration in July, but monarchs raised at that time aren’t actually migration generation butterflies…they’re the parents to that amazing generation of travelers.

There’s no way to tell whether butterflies will mate or migrate, but one telltale sign of a migration generation butterfly is its size, which is dependent on how much the caterpillar eats. The first super-sized caterpillars start to form chrysalides around the first week of September in our northern region…

In the garden, you can tell non-migratory butterflies by their worn out wings. Non-migratory males are also more aggressive, chasing off potential competition while seeking out female companionship…migratory monarchs are in sexual diapause and only interested in stocking up on nectar for the long journey ahead.

So how did our Raise The Migration Monarchs fare this season and what lessons did we learn raising forward?

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If you’re interested in a step-by-step guide digital guide with free updates (before each monarch season begins in spring) please check out the monarch raising guide by clicking this butterfly photo:

Raising Monarch Butterflies Book

For anyone who purchases the guide (or any other item) from Monarch Butterfly Life, you will be invited to our closed facebook group where you can discuss raising monarchs with other raisers and post your photos.

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Here are Raise the Migration results from the past eight seasons:

2021- 86% Survival Rate

2020- 82% survival rate

2019- 81% survival rate

2018- 93% survival rate

2017- 100% survival rate

2016- 96% survial rate

2015- 96% survival rate

2014- 90% survival rate

2013- 100% survival rate


As you can see from the results, this raising system is consistently producing healthy monarchs to help support the struggling monarch population.


Raise The Migration 2022 Results


Caterpillar Escapes

By keeping monarch eggs and baby caterpillars in sealed food containers, and raising larger caterpillars in the mesh cages, we never lose caterpillars. 

I think the closest we have come was two years ago when I forgot to close a cage door and found a caterpillar crawling on top of the cage. 🐛 😱


Unexplained Caterpillar Deaths

None in 2022


Caterpillar Diseases and Parasites?

None in 2022


Accidental Deaths?

None in 2022


Chrysalis Problems

None in 2022


Butterfly Eclosure Issues

None in 2022


Final Results

As you may know, we moved to a new location and we're starting to plant our perennial butterfly garden this fall 2022, so we raised very few monarchs this summer. However, we did have some wayward common milkweed plants, so we raised just a couple, but we raised them well. 😊

Our totals are from all eggs that have successfully hatched. We don't count eggs that were parasitized outside or monarchs brought in as caterpillars because they could have parasites too.

2 monarch butterflies emerged from their chrysalides between August 28th and August 31: 

0 accidental death (butterfly fall)

0 disease or parasite issues

unexplained deaths

0 healthy males

healthy females

100% survival rate


Lessons Learned?

unofficial raise the migration caterpillars in 2022
Raising Outside Under an Evergreen


I think the biggest lesson I learned this year had nothing to do with raising monarchs. 2022 was a year of extreme change for my family and raising butterflies was put on hold so we could focus on more important things, but that's life! I'm hoping to have more time for gardening and raising monarchs again next year.   

My biggest raising lesson this season was that placing cages under the protection of trees works well in rain storms...the chrysalides went though a couple heavy rainstorms and didn't even start to come loose inside the cage. Still, I prefer raising in a porch that's 100% free of extreme weather. We are planning to raise monarchs in a new gazebo next season...

 

Migration Memory 2022

This is our first year with a new garden, and we have yet to make it our own. However, there have been a few highlights to the season:

  • an abundance of phlox in shades of pink/white attracted many giant and tiger swallowtails, and hummingbird moths
  • One night at dusk we went out and saw about a dozen large white-lined sphinx moths nectaring on the phlox...it was magical, and one night only
  • Large flowered zinnias were the monarch favorites with a limited menu
  • 6 Mexican Sunflowers (tithonia rotundifolia) purchased from a nursery, seem to have hybridized with (tithonia diversifolia) which was a POOR substitute for attracting monarchs and the first flower is yet to bloom ⌛️🦋🇲🇽


I hope you enjoyed reading about my Raise The Migration '22 results and lessons learned raising monarchs through the butterfly life cycle .

And now, I'd love to hear about your experience...
 

Share Your Results?! ✍️

Please share your results below by letting us know how many monarchs you released to help boost the struggling monarch population…remember to include your location.

More importantly, please share the most valuable lesson(s) you learned about raising monarch butterflies, that you believe can help others raising forward.

Thank you for helping to Raise the Migration in 2022

203 comments


  • Hi All. This is the 2nd Fall/October I’ve been sad & disappointed to see most/all of my Monarchs die. My approach has been to grow milkweed in outside pots and then keep an eye out for Monarch cats (and Queens). When they arrive and start chewing on my plants, I move the pots inside to protect them from the elements. When I started growing milkweed 8-10 years ago, this approach was fairly successful. The first year I released 4 healthy Monarchs. The next year I didn’t get any Monarchs but I had 12 Queens; I think only one died. Last year, in October, I had 4 Monarchs make it to chrysalis but only 1 survived to release. This October, I had a nice group of ~8 Monarch cats outside but the weather turned very cold before I could bring them in. By then I was able to find 5 Monarchs (2nd/3rd instar) and 1 Queen (1st/2nd instar). The Monarchs ate plenty and seemed healthy until right before they started\ their wandering phase to look for a new “hang”. #1 did well and formed a perfect chrysalis. The other 4 clearly had been parasitized and never made it of of the J phase. The strings hanging off the dead cats (and the attached maggots) tell me they were killed by tachinid flies. I have one seemingly healthy Monarch chrysalis; the Queen is still growing. I doubt any of them would have survived anyway – it’s been very cold & wet.
    My questions:
    Is this a Fall thing in Texas i.e. most Monarchs don’t survive naturally this late in the year?
    Should I commit to full indoor raising of Monarchs?

    Jeff M. (Austin) on

  • Chatsworth, CA – This was my first year raising monarchs. In the beginning I had issues with rats ripping the mesh cage and eating my cats, then my chrysalis. I purchased 2 large birdcages to put my mesh cage into. I did have a lot of issues with “sicksalis”. Stopped counting because it just made me sad. I bought a batch of bad tropical milkweed, which had pesticide on it. I came home from an overnight trip to some sick & dead cats. I just released my last butterfly today. My total was 213. Lots of lessons learned that will help me next year.

    Kathleen Vasich on

  • Greetings Tony, I just released my last monarchs and my Monarch releases for this migration season are 32 Males and 48 Females. This was a strange migration for me this year as I have never had females laying eggs in October on my milkweed but they have become particularly fond of my balloon milkweed species. Thank you

    Drew Modic on

  • I raised 23 this year…..with some deaths…..parasites…not hatching but I still enjoy every minute!

    Pam Dibble-Palmyra,NY on

  • Massillon, Ohio: this was my 1st year raising monarchs. I had a total of 18 that were released. 5 males, 11 females & 2 crysalis that did not survive. I will release my LAST butterfly tomorrow, Oct.27th., if all goes well.

    Barbara Bryant on

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