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Longtime Resident Puts Monarch Butteries in the Spotlight

Attendees see insects up close in various stages of development.

Wayne resident Robert Simpson gave a presentation on the life stages of Monarch butterflies at Laurelwood Arboretum Saturday afternoon.

Topics included the insects' life cycle, from egg to caterpillar and chrysalis to finally a full-grown butterfly, and the Milkweed plant, where adult Monarchs lay their eggs. The plants also provide food for the insects when they are caterpillars. 

Simpson, a longtime Wayne resident, originally took a course called "Raising Butterflies for Fun and Profit" in order to learn about Monarch butterflies, which eventually turned into more than a hobby for him. He also cultivates his own Milkweed.

"Butterflies are in high demand," Mr. Simpson explained. “The two primary reasons are because butterflies can be sold to use at weddings and funerals."

After the presentation, Simpson led the group on a nature walk through the Arboretum, primarily in search of milkweed to see if any eggs could be found. He found one during the walk, which is not uncommon. A female Monarch can lay anywhere from 200 to 2,000 eggs during her life, depositing an average of one egg per leaf.

For more information on Laurelwood, visit http://www.laurelwoodarboretum.org.

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