Recently published research indicates that there is a unique group of monarch butterflies that live year-round in South Carolina, relying on swamps in spring, summer, and fall and sea islands in the winter.

We typically think of monarchs and their annual epic migration journey between Canada and Mexico, but a new study conducted by biologists from SC Department of Natural Resources suggests that coastal South Carolina may be home to a year-round population of monarch butterflies. Tracked and monitored over the course of seasons, these butterflies appear to rely on swamps in spring, summer, and fall; and move to the Sea Islands for the winter months. These butterflies and their caterpillars depend on two varieties of milkweed as host plants — the previously known aquatic milkweed (Asclepias perennis), as well as the swallow-wort (Pattalias palustre), which was previously unrecognized as a host plant for monarchs. See the SCDNR for the press release for more details, or read the peer-reviewed article HERE.

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