The American Monarch, Danaus plexippus
Brower LP, Oberhauser K, Boppré M, Brower AVZ, Vane-Wright RI (2007) Monarch sex: ancient rites, or recent wrongs? Antenna 31(1): 12-18. download
Miriam Rothschild called the monarch, Danaus plexippus, natures prime example of the male chauvinistic pig. Unlike other milkweed butterflies, male monarchs do not rely on subtle chemistry to court females, but adopt brute force. This paper addresses questions about the evolutionary origins and significance of this perplexing change of behaviour.
Boppré M (1993) The American monarch: courtship and chemical communication of a peculiar danaine butterfly. Pp 29-41 in Malcolm SB, Zalucki MP (eds) Biology and Conservation of the Monarch Butterfly. Los Angeles/CA: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. lesen
The androconial organs, courtship behavior, and the roles of chemical signals and allelochemicals in Danaus ( Danaus ) plexippus plexippus , the American monarch, are discussed in comparison with other danaine butterflies. In the monarch, and in other members of Danaus senus stricto , a change in mating strategy has evolved so that chemical communication plays a minor role in comparison with butterflies in other danaine genera. To date, there is no plausible explanation for this curious evolutionary change because many basic questions on the behavioral and chemical ecology of the monarch remain unanswered.
Short video from an overwintering site in Mexico
Lincoln Pierson Brower 75During the 5th International Conference on the Biology of Butterflies in July 2007 at Villa Mondragone, Frascati (Roma, Italy), Karen Oberhauser, Michael Boppré and Dick Vane-Wright have organised "A symposium in honour of Lincoln Pierson Brower" to celebrate his 75th anniversary, and mark more than 50 years research on milkweed butterflies. The symposium was organised around the three major themes that have informed and inspired Lincoln Browers, the Monarch Butterfly Man's, work: migration, chemical ecology and conservation. See Conference Website for programme and abstracts.
Links to websites on migration of the American Monarch, Danaus plexippus