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Fwd: Monarchs in Victoria, Australia

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    Dear Colleagues: You probably know that that the monarch colonized northern Australia decades ago but the butterfly has now reached the southern Australian
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2011
    Dear Colleagues:

    You probably know that that the monarch colonized northern Australia decades ago but the butterfly has now reached the southern Australian state of Victoria.  My PhD advisor, Dr. Malcolm Calder (77) retired to a small farm and winery in Yara Glenn, Vic..  His wife, Jane, is a retired landscape architect and kept an extensive garden before the bush fires of 2008.  Malcolm snapped the following photos on an Asclepias sp. grown in Jane's garden.  Unfortunately and atypically he did not include the Asclepias spp. but said that Australian gardeners call it the "swan plant" due to the shape of the fruit.  I've asked Jane to identify the plant to species or send photos of the flowers and flowering habit.

    I might also add that I saw lots of monarchs in New Caledonia back in 2001 while working on the pollination of Amborella.   The butterflies were happily ovipositing on  one of those red and orange Mexican-Central American species that must have escaped from cultivation and was now invading old pastures used to breed Asian deer for the meat and antler trade.  I do remember that the monarchs looked rather undersized.  

    Peter

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