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OE (Monarch Parasite)

Ophryocystis elektroscirrha


Parasitic protozoan found under the wing and body scales of adult Danaus sp. butterflies. Photo one is of a an example of an infected individual where as photo two is a non infected specimen. These are photos of testing with the Scotch Tape method. More info on this can be easily found online. Parasite can cause death of caterpillars, pupa, and adults.


Found exclusively in habitats where Monarch (D. plexippus) and (D. gilippus) are present. Can commonly be found on milkweed plants. It was present in 10 percent of the Monarch population collected last spring here at Iowa State.


If you rear monarchs, testing adults before release is a great way to help reduce prevalence of OE in the migratory population.

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Spotted by

Ames, Iowa, USA

Spotted on Apr 26, 2015
Submitted on Apr 26, 2015

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