By Kirstie Sutheran
Beautiful monarch butterflies are caught on camera mating in special butterfly reserve in Central Mexico.
Captured in Piedra Herrada Monarch Reserve the red and black winged mini-beasts are shown fluttering about.
It was Barb Hacking, from Ontario, that took the video and she says that the little insects’ numbers have dramatically dropped.
Barb said: “We had climbed most on the mountain on horseback. Suddenly we could see Monarchs floating through the air all around us.
“We dismounted and abandoned the horses and walked along the forested path to where the Monarchs were roosting in the trees.
“When the sun shone they burst into explosions of flying butterflies. Groups of butterflies are called kaleidoscopes.
“On our journey back to the horses, we paused for quite a while to watch a pair of Monarchs mating.
“The male Monarch adorns a black spot on each of his lower wings and the black veins on the wings are thinner than the females.
“This video demonstrates the mating dance especially beautiful in slow motion. Eventually the male will carry her off into the air.
“The males will die after this has happened. Many are seen along the mountain path floors. The females will fly mostly to Texas and lay their eggs on tender milkweed plants.
“That is why milkweed is critical for the Monarchs. It is the only food source for the caterpillars or larva if the Monarchs.
“The scientists believe that the Monarch population which has declined drastically in the last 20 years is down 15% since last year!
“In 2015, the Ontario government took milkweed off the noxious weed list which I believe has helped the Monarchs immensely.”