Wendy Macziewski using live specimens to show Monarch larva development

OCAS, Middlebury Land Trust, and the Ilsley Public Library co-sponsored a monarch butterfly larva monitoring study session on Saturday, May 19.  The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (www.mlmp.org) from the University of Minnesota sent Wendy Macziewski all the way to Vermont to conduct this training.  Local OCAS member Peg Goldman worked hard over many months to ensure this event could happen.  We thank you, Peg.

Wendy started off the session with live specimens she had brought, from egg stage, through each instar.  We also observed a chrysalis and  male and female dead specimens.  It was very helpful to actually see the monarchs at the different stages before the slide show.  The slide show was very detailed and informative about many aspects of the monarch biology, threats, and conservation measures being taken.

The goal of the workshop was to train the participants to be able to monitor a milkweed patch near their homes throughout the summer.  We will have a follow up get-together with group later in summer to support each other.  If you are reading this and are interested in learning how to do this monitoring, the first thing to do would be to go to the mmlp website where there is a wealth of information.  We at OCAS would also be able to help you find out how to get started with the training.  Please visit our website for contact information for Carol Ramsayer, Ron Payne, and Barb Otsuka, the trainees at the Saturday session.

– Barbara Otsuka