Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monarch butterflies in Mexico

Kings of the sky

The cautious comeback of an intrepid insect

A lepidopterologist’s fantasy

LIKE many a sun-seeking tourist, the monarch butterfly prefers to spend winter in the warmth of Mexico. Before the first frosts, it leaves its breeding grounds in Canada and the United States and flies up to 5,000km (3,000 miles) to a patch of forest west of Mexico City. Weighing down tree branches in giant clusters by night, the monarchs flutter through the forest in their millions in the day, turning the sky amber.

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