By Andrew Atkinson
Monarch Butterflies – Danaus Plexippus – emerge from their chrysalises in autumn in Spain.
And what a joy it was to film and photograph one, when it appeared in our garden in Los Montesinos, Alicante.
The giant butterfly was feeding from nectar, produced by the Plumbago plant that serves around the garden area.
A Deceptive Stone Grasshopper – a large ‘hopper or cricket – also appears in the filming of the Monarch butterfly.
The Migratory Monarchs’ make the lengthy migration journey from Canada and northern America, to Mexico and California, repeating their travels in the opposite direction in the following Spring.
It is deemed by Conservationists that Monarch Butterflies are in decline in Spain. Climate change is one factor.
Monarchs can be found on the Azores in the autonomous regions of Portugal and Madeira, along with the Canary Islands.
Bristly silkweed plants have been introduced into the Iberian peninsula, enabling the Monarch butterfly to colonise in Spain.
In Tenerife and the Canary Islands scarlet milkweed is grown, as an ornamental garden flower, that attracts the species.