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by Anthony Gomez

6 days ago

Raising Book Resources

Raising Hope for the 2020 Migration- Raise the Migration Results

Share Your Raise The Migration 2020 Experience in a Comment Below

by Anthony Gomez

6 days ago

Raise the Migration 2020- Share Your Experience

by Anthony Gomez

6 days 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 2020 experience and raise it forward…

Raise The Migration 2019- Share Your Results, Stories, & Lessons Learned 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 2020 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 early August, but monarchs raised at that time aren’t actually migration generation butterflies…they’re actually 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?


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.


I am counting our 2020 migration generation as all butterflies that eclosed September 1st and after. 

Raise The Migration 2020 Results 

Coming Soon!

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

  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.

Caterpillar Escapes

Coming Soon

Unexplained Caterpillar Deaths

Coming Soon

Caterpillar Diseases and Parasites?

Coming Soon

Accidental Deaths?

 Coming Soon

Chrysalis Problems?

Coming Soon


Butterfly Eclosures

Coning Soon

Final Results

Coming Soon 

? accidental death

? disease or parasite issues

? unexplained death

? healthy males

(3 so far) healthy females

? survival rate 

Lessons Learned?

Coming Soon

August 2020 Migration Memory

And now, here’s the part I’m most excited about…hearing about all the valuable lessons you learned raising monarchs over the past few weeks!

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 2020


  • I live in Oneonta NY. This was my first year. I started this because last year a customer on my mail route said to me “you should have seen our garden yesterday, about 100 monarchs were flying around and were hiding in our flowers during the rain” and I said to myself “I want that too!” So this year I found several cats and eggs on the milkweed plants in my yard. However, I found even more along my mail route. I started bringing along a couple travel coffee mugs, 1 for cats & 1 for eggs. After all was said and done, I found a total of 72 and released 65 monarchs, 7 didn’t make it. I even started giving the younger children on my route chrysalis “kits” A few days before the chrysalis was due to “hatch” I would suspend it on a string in a dollar store Halloween bucket, put a small piece of screen on top and let the kids keep & release. What did I learn? That I LOVE doing this! Also, I found that I had more success finding eggs and cats on milkweed that was further away from other flowers. I guess because less competition from other bugs gives the monarch lady more time to lay her eggs in peace?

    Lorrie Strauch on

  • I shared my success story here a couple of days ago but wanted to add one more thing that I think is important. Unwanted pests! I took a sprig of milkweed that happened to have some flower buds on it, checked it over good, rinsed it off, put it in a floral tube, then put two baby 1-instar caterpillars on it. When I went to check on them the next day, they were gone! You know how tiny 1-instar cats are so I started carefully going through the flower buds on top looking for them and that’s when I found an evil little baby praying mantis, only about 1/4 inch long. He ate my baby cats! Another pesky bug: aphids. I had heard that planting garlic would help keep them away and I really believe this works! I planted garlic in late fall last year and this year I only had a couple of very small outbreaks of aphids, easy to control and get rid of, compared to last year when they tried to take over the entire garden. Garlic seems to chase off aphids in about a 10 foot radius around the plant. I tried chives last year and they weren’t nearly as effective. I also tried marigolds last year and they didn’t work either, but I planted them again this year because they’re a great nectar flower. In spite of last year being a bad year for tachinid flies, I did not have one case of any infestations this year, which was a relief. I did have problems with trichogramma wasps infecting eggs this year. About 20% of the eggs I brought in were infected. It seems the only eggs that survived were the ones I found right after they were laid. If I didn’t find the egg for a day or two, it was usually already infected. As I mentioned before, we had a 90% success rate (not counting infected eggs that were already dead when brought inside). About 5% of the fatalities were due to Mother Nature and about 5% were due to stupid mistakes on my part (like my sacrificial offering to that baby praying mantis).

    Jola Harvel on

  • It’s been a great year, I’ve still got 6 monarch chrysalis, once they emerge I will have released over 100 monarch butterfly’s! The majority of the caterpillars were found on my milkweed in late August early September. I’ve also been raising black swallowtails releasing around 25 of them. Even though I have 3 varieties of milkweed in my garden I definitely need to plant more in the spring, as well as planting more parsley and fennel for the swallowtails.

    Gabriele Pozzi on

  • Two years ago, I moved from my home where I had a Monarch Waystation and where I learned what I know (and of course, through Tony’s info) to a condo a couple of miles away. The first year I devoted to becoming a balcony gardener on the second floor and focused on hummingbirds. I noticed however, that the State Fair Zinnias (the only flowers we have) were getting a lot of Monarch visitors. Glad I kept my pop-ups because I bought a beautiful bouquet of Butterfly weed and noticed what I thought were eggs. They were not, but this got me going. I had already planted more State Fair Zinnias on my balcony and had fuschia and Manndevilla. I bought a pot of swamp milkweed and found two cats, one instar 2 and one at 3. I put them in separate habitats since I didn’t know how my experiment would work. The first, a female ate, went into J, and eclosed like she was reading the text book. I even got her eclosure on video. It was a beautiful sunny day and when I opened the flap, she flew to one of my zinnias and I was so happy. Then, about 10 days-2 weeks later, a beautiful male eclosed. I won’t use this habitat again for a chrysalis because it is small, it has a wooden top and I didn’t have visual access like I do with the ones Tony’s carries in his store. However, this boy came out so fast and flew high up to one of the Austrian pines. I swear he is still hanging around here. Thank you Tony!

    Judy Huston on

  • After having great success in spring releasing 23 healthy monarchs from cats I found on my common milkweed plants, no others were found after. We had very hot dry weather here in SW Ontario, Canada and wonder if that impacted the health of the plants. It was also noted that numbers of monarchs were way down this year. The plants seemed healthy with a couple that had aphids which I snipped off. I am quite disappointed that I wasn’t able to raise any super gen monarchs this year. 😢

    Claire on

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