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Centaurea stoebe

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Use Of Spotted Knapweed/Star Thistle (Asterales: Asteraceae) As The Primary Source Of Nectar By Early Migrating Monarch Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) From Beaver Island, Michigan, Matthew M. Douglas Apr 2019

Use Of Spotted Knapweed/Star Thistle (Asterales: Asteraceae) As The Primary Source Of Nectar By Early Migrating Monarch Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) From Beaver Island, Michigan, Matthew M. Douglas

The Great Lakes Entomologist

Recent observations over the past decade suggest that the invasive star thistle (aka spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe L.) provides much of the nectar that supports monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in their pre-migratory and early migratory flight from the Beaver Island archipelago, an isolated chain of islands located in northern Lake Michigan. With the advent and continuation of global climate change, the opportunistic evolutionary changes that may take place between migrating monarchs and their dependence on non-native nectariferous plants, prior to migration, is worth further documentation and examination.