Monarch crisis

minrose(4Mn)September 17, 2011

I had a Monarch eclose from the top to the chrysalis and poor thing had a hard time getting out. I noticed the chrysalis looked weird and was actually taking photos of it when it fell and the bottom of the Monarch was sticking out of the chrysalis but the rest of the Monarch was still in the chrysalis shell. Finally I could see her head come out and I tried helping her get out of the chrysalis shell but was so afraid of poking a hole in her. I was hoping once her body was smaller, the rest of the chrysalis would fall off but I see there is still some stuck to her body. Her wings are somewhat curled too, I sure hope she will be able to fly. I tried to help her best I could. Has anyone else had a Monarch eclose but they were unable to shed all of the chrysalis shell? Of all the Monarchs I have raised over the last few years, I have never seen this before. I just got to thinking, I started raising Monarchs in 2007, my total for all those years is over 2000, makes me feel good.

Anyways, I sure hope she will be ok, will find out today when I try to photograph her and then release her.

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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I haven't actually witnessed an abnormal ecloser, but did come home to a Monarch sitting on the porch with the upper portions of the wings still folded over so it couldn't separate and open its wings. Don't know if the problem occurred as it was trying to get out, or if there was something wrong all along. It did end up dying. I actually found 4 butterflies that day that had eclosed and died. Probably all from the same container. The other three all looked completely normal, but were just laying on the ground. Sorry for your baby's trouble, but you've saved so many others. Try to let it go emotionally. Nature is not perfect.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 7:56AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


Do not release this Monarch. Something is definitely wrong. I have had this happen before. Your best choice is to euthanize. And if you can't do this, make the Monarch a pet and keep it inside until it dies. You have raised and released a lot of Monarchs. Every once in a while something goes wrong.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 9:51AM
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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

I have had this happen several times and once had one that had a "girdle" of the shell around his/her, can't remember if it was a male or female, middle (the thorax?). Most were not able to fly and had to be euthanized. Makes you appreciate every one that comes out perfect and ready to go out and make more cats. Don't know if there is a virus involved, but that would be my guess.

Take comfort in knowing that you did all you could for this butterfly, but they just don't all make it, especially in the wild. I read somewhere that the survival rate for the butterfly egg to adult is 3 out of 100 in the wild, so even one making it to adult-hood is making a difference.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:50PM
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thank you for all your kind and thoughtful advice, I can not bring myself to euthanize her. I really appreciate all your good comments.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 6:46AM
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napapen(ca 15)

I had separated all the cats before they made their pupa. One of them just seemed to stretch and stretch and then died and I was so glad it was in a separate container. That was right after I read about the virus that turns the insides to liquid. My others seemed to do fine.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 6:08PM
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