Not sure if I will get to witness further events in this particular caterpillar's life? 🤔
Looks like Elvis has totally left the building.
But where's the chrysalis? 🤔
Found three more of these today!
A particularly lost and confused one was under the leaves of a dahlia. Moved it to milkweed plant. I hope I have done the right thing, and I did it right.
Don't you know about your exclusive diet of milkweed, caterpillar?
Current status: there's a chrysalis now, and a small caterpillar, and an even smaller caterpillar
The last monarch chrysalis outside turned out to be a bit of a tragedy: it became victim to tachinid fly.
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!
@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. :-)
@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. :-)
Another very unskittish monarch came by and hung out in the yard this evening though, so there was that. 🦋
Today's monarch news: a big caterpillar and several tiny ones have appeared!
Our neighbor has donated a fancy home for the caterpillar. I hope this is a step-up from the old glass jar.
Saturday's visitor stayed a long while, and wanted to come inside: stayed and knocked on the windows and front door.
Was it you, my Appu cat? Did you become a monarch butterfly in your next life? If it was you, I miss you. 😢
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.
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