Journal: Insect Conservation and Diversity
Location: Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelon, Mexico

Monarch butterflies overwinter in the Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelon, Mexico, for a period of 154 days. During this time, they cluster on oyamel fir trees, which are on average 1.4 °C warmer than surrounding temperatures at night (protecting from freezing) and 1.2 °C cooler during the day (slowing the loss of fat stores). Older trees (with wider trunks) had more beneficial microclimates.

Monarch Butterfly – Danaus plexippus
Oyamel Fir – Abies religiosa

Brower LP, Williams EH, Slayback DA, Fink LS, Ramirez MI, Zubieta RR, Garcia MIL, Gier P, Lear JA, van Hook T, 2009. “Oyamel fir forest trunks provide thermal advantages for overwintering monarch butterflies in Mexico.” Insect Conservation and Diversity, DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2009.00052.x
Affiliations: Sweet Briar College, VA; Hamilton College, NY; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM); Huntingdon College, AL; National Cathedral School, Washington, DC.

Journal: Biological Control
Location: ?

The invasive Japanese knotweed has 180 natural arthropod enemies; the sap-sucking jumping plant louse Aphalara itadori may be the first authorised for use in the European Union. 146,885 A. itadori eggs were laid, and it took 33 days to go through 5 nymph stages at 23oC. 1.52% of eggs laid on 87 species or varieties of plants were not on Japanese knotweed, but these did not become adults. When nymphs were transferred to Maidenhair vine, 7% developed to adulthood.

Japanese knotweed – Fallopia japonica
Maidenhair vine – Meuhlenbeckia complexa

Shaw RH, Bryner S, Tanner R, 2009. “The life history and host range of the Japanese knotweed psyllid, Aphalara itadori Shinji: Potentially the first classical biological weed control agent for the European Union” Biological Control 49(2): 105-113, doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2009.01.016
Affiliations: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International (CABI), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)