I can't believe it - Monarch cats!!

terrene(5b MA)June 18, 2011

Yesterday I was out in the "xeric garden", which is the front southwest corner of my lot next to the sidewalk. It is a hot, dry garden. I'm growing some Asclepias tuberosa, a few A. curasssavica seedlings, and there is some A. syriaca common milkweed that planted itself. Last year I registered as a Monarch waystation, purchased a sign, and installed the sign in this garden. That way, people can read the sign as they pass by on the sidewalk.

I was poking around the garden, and nearly fell over when I looked down and there was a 2nd instar Monarch cat on the tip of one of the common Milkweeds!! I collected the little guy, and searched the other milkweeds in the yard. Found a 2nd little 2nd instar cat on the wild milkweed in back.

I'm about 20 miles northwest of Boston. The earliest I have seen Monarchs here is mid-July. Last year they didn't show up until mid-August. Obviously a female came through the area in the last 7-14 days! If I'd had any idea, I would have looked for more eggs/cats much sooner. :)

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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Exciting news! I hope you get lots and lots of caterpillars, and raise lots of Monarchs this year. This butterfly has had a hard time recently.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:53AM
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sweet_melissa(7)

Yeah!!!!!! Congrats!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:02AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Congrats terrene! Wish you the best of luck. It has been a weird season so far. Like you, I never normally see an adult Monarch until August. This year, I have already raised and released 34 adults, and my milkweeds have been covered with cats.~~Angie

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:17AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Woohoo!! How wonderful!

'Nothing like caterpillars and butterflies to add excitement to one's life!

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:29AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Thanks guys! My caterpillar raising is ramping up! 2 Monarch cats and 1 BST (who is acting very pokey and not progressing past 2nd instar).

It seems that Monarchs are in an unusual migration pattern this year. Hopefully they will be adaptable and find milkweed whereever they go! The common Milkweed in this area is big and budding, so they is plenty of food for cats. Maybe I'll have more than the usual # of Monarchs this year? X my fingers

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:55PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Congrats Terrene! Hopefully their early start will mean they'll produce more generations this summer before heading south.
I've had evidence of cats on my common milkweed but haven't been able to find any yet this summer.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:05AM
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Tony G(5a)

Christie, try searching inside the green flower buds or check the smallest seedlings you can find. Those are two of their best hiding places from predators.

Good luck, Tony

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:02PM
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