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Published on Aug 16, 2011
Monarch Butterflies are migratory, and now that it's August they're becoming more of a common sight out in the garden. In most of North American their only host plants are Asclepias species, or Milkweeds as they're commonly known. In my garden I have a number of Asclepias species.
Milkweeds are host to a number of other species as well. Assorted Milkweed Bugs and Beetles seek them out for mating and feeding purposes. Brilliant orange and yellow colored Oleander Aphids feed on the plant as well. Usually Milkweeds are to sticky for most ants to tread but in the video I've found some Camponotus chromaiodes, a variety of carpenter ant tending to one of the herds. I have also found Tapinoma sessile, the odorous house ant, stealing nectar from the flowers.
Lastly I finally got proof of the hummingbird visiting my yard. We get them in about one at a time, zipping through the garden in short 2 to 5 minute intervals. After they've had their fill of nectar that's it they're gone. Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, is the earliest plant they go to, but now that it's summer their options have opened up. In the video I found them going to Mexican Sunflowers, Basil that's in bloom, and Ironweed.