SURVIVING THE WINTER
Several species of butterflies, such as Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern Tailed-blue, Harris' Checkerspot, and Northern Crescent, overwinter in Muskoka as eggs, partly grown larvae, or as pupae. Some, like Compton Tortoiseshell, even overwinter as adults, finding shelter under leaf litter or in wood piles. Many species, such as the familiar Red Admiral, Painted Lady, and Monarch, cannot survive the cold winter temperatures in any life stage. Adults move north in spring and summer from the southern states or even as far away as Mexico. These adults live long enough to breed perhaps two or three times during this migration and it is their offspring that eventually populates Muskoka. Surviving members of the last brood then undertake a "return" trip south to their wintering grounds; a feat which is all the more fantastic as they have never been there before!