150 Monarch Eggs and Counting!!

butterflymomok(7a NE OK)April 12, 2011

It's either feast or famine! The strong southerly winds have blown the Monarchs up farther than normal. The females are in a panic to get the eggs laid. I found 13 eggs on one little leaf today. My friend talked to Jim Lovett at Monarch Watch, and this seems to be happening quite a bit. They are seeing it in Kansas. Problem is, very little milkweed is up.

I am rolling the eggs off the leaves as I don't want to discourage the females from laying their eggs. I'm just hoping I can find food for all of them. And, I've also been looking for "placements; ie, adoptions!" But very few takers due to the food supply.

I've got some milkweeds on order and am hoping they arrive soon. I just didn't get started soon enough this year. I just hope we can get this first generation fed and raised to maturity. And then they can head your way and lay eggs in all of your yards!


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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Hi Sandy,

Congrats! We are seeing a lot of eggs too. But we've just been collecting cats this year. There is a lot of native milkweed in the pasture. Enough to keep us going ok. But it would be nice to get some rain.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 6:37PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Hi, Randy.

I'm glad you've got milkweed. I need a pasture! ; ) And rain would be wonderful. I collected the eggs today, as I have some hungry Ladybugs starting to forage on the milkweeds. They seem to have noticed the egg-laying activity also. Nothing like a nice plump Monarch egg to make a Ladybug happy!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 6:48PM
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I should of collected my monarch eggs only seen her one day and something got all the eggs they not on the milkweed no more so sad.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 7:03PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

I'm sorry, Angie. Butterfly eggs are a delicacy for a lot of hungry bugs. Maybe another female will come and visit your milkweed. I hope so.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 7:18PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats, Sandy!
Have you ever grown honeyvine/Cynanchum laeve? It's not a favorite food of monarchs, but they'll eat it and grow on it, though more slowly than tropical milkweed. The thing it has going for it is FAST growth!
I sure hope you can feed those monarchs. I'd take some off your hands, but my milkweed is still pretty small, and monarch eggs hatch so fast, it's hazardous to send them through the mail.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:27PM
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Sherry, I have Cynanchum laeve, too, but like the other milkweeds, very slow coming up this year. Mine is up, but they first send up a tall vining stem, with little foliage, so we're about equal on available food even with the CL.

I lost my HUGE A. incarnata this winter, probably due to the drought. I also have A. speciosa and one little lone A. purpurescens up, and have planted my seeds of A. curassavica and Calotropis gigantea. The problem we are seeing here with the drought is that our plants have been set back in terms of early growth. A. viridis is one of the early ones in Oklahoma, but even it is resisting growth due to the drought.

I hope Kansas is in much better shape. I have a feeling most of the Monarchs may continue flying north in order to find food where it isn't as dry as we are.

We sure could use some rain.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:36PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


Hmmm, that's interesting about Monarchs hatching in the mail! Always wondered about that. ; ) I have Cynanchum laeve, but it hasn't come up yet. It grows up and through one of my spirea bushes. I'm a goin' milkweed huntin' tomorry! LOL Hope I'm successful.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 10:49PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

so very sorry to hear of the drought and lack of milkweed ...

A nursery helped me my first time raising Monarch cats by packaging and mailing me the leaves of the common milkweed from her personal garden when my milkweed supply ran out. I was so impressed with how well the very large leaves worked as a food source, I planted common milkweed seed in a big garden tub (the plastic ones with the rope handles) to keep the plant in bounds in my small garden. I drilled holes all over the bottom of the tub and lined the inside with bubble wrap to try and keep the roots cool in the high summer heat. The first year they didn't do too much but this spring, they were the first milkweed to come up and just look at them now. The photo below was taken within the past week. This might be a plant you could consider planting as a backup food source. ... Mary

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)April - 2011
From __Garden Flowers - plants

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:51AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Thanks, Mary for the info. I have some syriaca seedlings as well as Sullivan's, Davis', Hall's, purple, and speciosa, coming up. I also have tropical and giant mw seedlings. And, I have a large aluminum baking pan of "who knows?" milkweed planted. These are my plants to share with others in hopes of getting more habitats established in this area. I'll be in good shape next year--it's just getting through this year. The purple milkweed in the garden is colonizing and producing quite a nice stand of stalks. I think this is what the redring does when it gets established. I just need a meadow!! LOL Hubby won't hear of it.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 2:36PM
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