Not sure if I will get to witness further events in this particular caterpillar's life? 🤔
I'm told that only about 5% monarch eggs become butterflies, and the rest perish. Even milkweeds are trying to kill the caterpillars with sticky latex sap and toxins!
I've checked out Anurag Agrawal's "Monarchs and Milkweed: A Migrating Butterfly, a Poisonous Plant, and Their Remarkable Story of Coevolution" from the library. It's all very thrilling.
I also moved the last caterpillar I found to a glass jar. It turned into a chrysalis the other day.
Stay tuned for further updates!
We had these two visitors the other day at the same time: a monarch butterfly and a (ruby-throated?) hummingbird who were going at each other's throats for a few minutes.
You need to squint at the second picture to spot the hummingbird, but it is there. And that is my very first hummingbird picture!
Replacing juniper pines with flowering plants, and letting milkweed grow by our front door -- however haphazard a "garden" that might make -- was clearly a very good idea. I am pleased. :-)
Today's monarch news: a caterpillar has escaped its indoor makeshift cage, and is now hanging onto a door jamb, and is very unwilling to budge.
The one in neighbor-donated cage is now a chrysalis.
An ill-looking one I brought inside has died. It wasn't eating anything.
This evening I brought two more very tiny caterpillars inside.
@ehashman Nature is being very... nature
@sajith You should be pleased. Beautiful.
@tellio Thank you!
@sajith Great photos!
@BobTarte Thank you, Bob!
@sajith bummer! I'm just seeing your whole monarch thread now and it is really cool!
@dthompson Be sure to raise some milkweeds next year! Once the monarchs choose to lay eggs on your milkweeds, it gets super exciting.
@sajith I'm trying to grow some but so far only have one that is doing well. hopefully that number will increase.
@dthompson I hope so too!
Last year no monarchs were around, and then we removed some juniper pines from that area and then this happened.
These folks have good reviews in Amazon, if I remember correctly, but I have no direct experience:
I am planning to collect some seeds from the existing plants, and get some of those seeds, and grow milkweeds and zinnias in all possible corners next year. This is way better than grass and "regular" weeds. :-)
@sajith I've been collecting seed pods. my step daughter even collected seed pods for me that she found at school.
@dthompson One "problem" we've had (which is not really a problem, just business as usual for nature) was disappearing caterpillars -- some of them were eaten by tachinid larvae etc. I have no idea what happened to the rest.
This one in the jar is the sole survivor as far as I can tell, and that was probably because I brought the caterpillar inside and kept it in a jar with some milkweed leaves.
Can't believe I'm giving advice on raising monarchs after half a summer with a few of them. :-)
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