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Lack of evidence for a fine scale magnetic map sense for fall migratory Eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus)
  • Patrick Guerra,
  • Adam Parlin,
  • Stephen Matter
Patrick Guerra
University of Cincinnati

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Adam Parlin
University of Cincinnati
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Stephen Matter
University of Cincinnati
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How first-time animal migrants find specific destinations remains an intriguing ecological question. Migratory marine species use geomagnetic map cues acquired as juveniles to aide long-distance migration, but less is known for long-distance migrants in other taxa. We test the hypothesis that naïve Eastern North American fall migratory monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), a species that possesses a magnetic sense, locate their overwintering sites in Central Mexico using inherited geomagnetic map cues. We examined whether overwintering locations and the abundance of monarchs changed with the natural shift of Earth’s magnetic field from 2004 to 2018. We found that migratory monarchs continued to overwinter at established sites in similar abundance despite significant shifts in the geomagnetic field, which is inconsistent with monarchs using fine scale geomagnetic map cues to find overwintering sites. It is more likely that monarchs use geomagnetic cues to assess migratory direction rather than location and use other cues to locate overwintering sites.
10 Aug 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
12 Aug 2022Submission Checks Completed
12 Aug 2022Assigned to Editor
30 Aug 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Sep 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Sep 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
25 Sep 20221st Revision Received
27 Sep 2022Submission Checks Completed
27 Sep 2022Assigned to Editor
27 Sep 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
29 Sep 2022Editorial Decision: Accept