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Monarch Butterflies Final Updates – 8/21


8/21 UPDATE: All of the butterflies have been released! Monarchs Nick E., Steven, Momo, Manark, Jonah, Sam, Lucy, Jelly Bean, Riley, Vanyel, and Greg are now out in the wild.

They may be among the first generation to migrate to Mexico to overwinter or they may stay in Brunswick to produce another generation.

Many thanks to Jack the Butterfly Guy for his countless hours of butterflies care. Good luck, monarchs!

8/20 UPDATE: Two more males were released yesterday (Monday). They allowed themselves to be passed from finger to finger before flying away.

The two remaining monarchs will be released today

8/19 UPDATE: YS Librarian Melissa Orth released a male butterfly Saturday at 4 p.m.

Adult Services Librarian Linda Oliver released three female butterflies, as yet unnamed around 3:20 Saturday afternoon, Sunday. One was there for only a few minutes and presumably flew away as Linda was fetching the camera. Two were still in the butterfly garden when Linda left. One was climbing from flower to flower on a bunch of Coneflowers. The second was staying in place on a black-eyed Susan.

One butterfly had just emerged as Linda arrived and still had not unfurled the wings. It could be released after the library opens Monday morning (8/19) after 9:30.

8/15 UPDATE: We plan to release the newly emerged butterfly today at 2 p.m.

8/15 UPDATE: Diana and Stephanie released one butterfly this morning. Two more emergent butterflies can be seen through their chrysalises.

8/14 UPDATE: The Chrysalis for two of the Monarchs has turned black and translucent – you can see the wings!

We expect the monarchs to emerge this week. 24 hours before a butterfly emerges, the chrysalis will look as if it’s turned black. What is actually happening is that we are beginning to be able to see the butterfly curled up inside, getting ready to shed its skin for the last time.

When a butterfly first emerges, it’s wings look very small and its abdomen looks very large. If you look closely, you can see that its abdomen is pulsating, pumping fluid into its wings until they are fully expanded. It takes a couple of hours for the monarch’s wings to harden enough for it to fly.

Stop by the Youth Services Desk this week and perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to witness this first hand!

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