Insects and creepy crawlies > Insects and creepy-crawlies

Monarch Butterfly

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quentin:
Myself and a few friends saw a butterfly today (2 November 2014) at Charca de Suarez, a wonderful small nature reserve near Motril, Andalucia. To me it looked like a Monarch but I'm not sure if there is any other species that I may be mistaking it for. Having done some internet research it seems there is a breeding population somewhere in Southern Spain.

So, could anyone tell me if there is a butterfly here in Andalucia that I may have mistaken the one we saw today with?
Also, where is the breeding population?

Thanks very much,

Andy

Clive:
Can you post a picture?

I have seen monarchs in the ebro delta, Valencia and DoƱana
I remember years ago when I worked as a gardener on the Costa del Sol monarch caterpillars on asclepia plants I bought in garden centres.....

They are fairly unmistakeable

quentin:
Unfortunately the butterfly was moving at great speed so we were unable to photograph it. I have seen Monarchs in Cornwall but not for many years. I've also seen Plain Tigers and they look similar. I wondered if similar species are seen in Spain.

Andy

GaryM:
Hi Andy
I have been to la charka many times and would suggest that it is highly likely that the butterfly was a monarch as i have seen them in the area around that reserve.  I have also seen Plain tigers which are in the same family group.   If you go into Almunejar to the ruins of the Roman fish pools and the tree garden you will often come across several monarchs flitting around....you can get quite close to them whilst they sip necter from flowers..if your lucky.   Motril to almunejar is not too far away for a butterfly that can migrate thousands of miles.  I have also observed them flying on our land near to torviscon.  Hope this helps
Regards GaryM

quentin:
Thanks very much for that Gary. I'll take a trip to Almunejar before too long but this is probably not the best time of the year for seeing butterflies. As Monarchs seem to be taking a hold in Southern Spain I can't help but wonder about some of the sightings in the UK. Frequently though they coincide with American birds that have been blown off course so presumably they are also migrants from the States.

Incidentally we are in the Orgiva / Lanjaron area so will keep a sharp eye out for Monarchs here.

Andy

ps I hope you are enjoying the rain!

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