Home Science and Health Female Monarch Butterflies Sexually Harassed During Migration

Female Monarch Butterflies Sexually Harassed During Migration

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Male Monarch Butterfly Sexually Harassing a Female
Male Monarch Butterfly Sexually Harassing a Female

Lawrence, Kansas – Researchers at the University of Kansas have found that as many as three-quarters of all female Monarch Butterflies are sexually harassed on their annual migration from Canada and the Northern United States to Mexico.

The Monarch Butterfly is the only butterfly that is known to make a two way migration like many species of birds do. University of Kansas professor Dr. Eugene Jeffers has been studying the migration for the past five years and says, “Our study indicates that as many as three out of four female Monarchs are sexually harassed during the migration by their male counterparts. Most of harassment involved the males making salacious remarks to the females during flight but at times they become physical and attempt to dry-hump the female during rest periods.”

Dr. Jeffers says that most of the harassment occurs during the trip south. For the trip back north, the females are keen to the unwanted male behavior so many of the females band together and rally against the males. The females also allow their wings and antenna to be a bit unkept and keep their proboscis in an unkept bun. This seems to scare the males off.

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