9 mature Monarch Cats - 2 new hatchlings

mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)September 17, 2013

I was gifted with 9 Monarch eggs that are beginning to pupate, three lovely green chrysalides and two in the J so far.

While washing fresh MW for them three days ago, I discovered two more tiny eggs. If these two mature, it will be 11 more Monarchs heading toward Mexico.

I searched all the milkweed, but if there were more 'recent' eggs, I couldn't find them. It's a pretty slim count so far this year but happy to have been able to raise these little guys.

I'm really dismayed by the spotty sightings reported on this forum. I hope next year the spring weather is normal, all of our MW plantings come up on time and the remaining Monarchs have a successful journey north.

On a more positive note, I've had gads of Pipevine, Black Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, two generations of Spicebush and many other assorted little visitors, plus many Eastern Tiger's visiting every day. We must have their host growing somewhere nearby as they were abundant all summer. If only the Monarchs had been able to participate! :-(

Mary

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Leafhead

Amen to that!! Here's hoping for a brighter future for the Monarch and other butterflies.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

I'm finding more tiny hatchlings today so be on the lookout and check your milkweed closely! Even though I've not seen mama Monarch, they are on the move now.

Sandy, your method of keeping the tiny cats in a sealed container for the first few days is working beautifully. Of course, I replace their diaper daily and provide fresh food but they seem to be happy (and safe) as can be in their little container.

Mary

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I'm so happy to hear that folk are seeing evidence of Monarchs heading back south, and continuing to lay eggs on the way. It already got really cold here, even frost, so I hope they are long gone from here. Thank-you for continuing the work of keeping them going. I'd love to see some return next year.

Martha

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Yay Mary! If each of us can raise some, maybe that will help! I'm going to wish for more to come your way since you're willing! :-)

I have released 19 this week, and I have three large containers with approximately 20 caterpillars in each one. I need to do an official count. I included a snapshot of one I missed and later found out on the Oscar milkweed.

~Laura

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats to all of you!

I haven't seen a monarch all year. :( Still, I've gotten cats late in the year many times before, as a matter of fact, it's my most common time for cats. Milkweed's waiting!

Sherry

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

I cleaned and counted tonight... I have 74 caterpillars. I have separated them into 4 large containers - one batch of 19 is about to pupate. Some of them are very large!

On a sad note, I did find two in one container that were dead. No clue why. I thoroughly cleaned the container before putting the remaining ones back in.

~Laura

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tony G(5a)

Mary and Laura, great to hear you are raising and releasing monarchs for the great migration.

I just released my last monarch in Minnesota this week and am giving people raising tips in "Amazing Raise 1"...even if you weren't signed up, fee free to share how many monarchs you are releasing for the migration on the link page below.

Laura, I think the high percentage of cardenolides in the goose plant may kill some of the smaller monarch caterpillars. I'm not sure if a higher percentage of this chemical also helps to protect them more from predators? Can a predator sense the monarchs' poison content without taking a sampling?

Anyhow, most of our monarchs have headed south so be on the lookout for some Minnesota Monarchs! Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: Raising HOPE for the Monarch Migration

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rickinla(8B SW AL)

We had a male Monarch visitor for hours today. I checked some plants and found several eggs. I've got 6 chrysalis and another 5 or 6 mature cats in my cage. They're on their way south and at least some have made it down to Mobile.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Leafhead

We still have some Monarchs in Madison, Wisconsin. Our milkweed is past, and the BFs seem to be interested only in nectaring and basking, in prep for the long trip South.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 2:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Tony- maybe it was the cardenolides, however; that has been the #1 plant in my garden this year for the Monarchs. More eggs, more cats, than incarnata, tuberosa, curassavica, etc.

Of the 74 remaining, I lost one yesterday - it was trying to pupate and it only made it half way through the process and just looks like a mess. The rest seem to be doing quite well - many hanging in "J"s, many already formed their chrysalis. I have about 30-35 still eating away.

I also released two more butterflies - 2 males. I'm keeping a spreadsheet of how many I've released each day.

~Laura

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tony G(5a)

Hi Laura,

goose plant is a top performer in our garden too...in fact, I found 6 large cats (instar 4-5) on it this season. I RARELY find cats that big in the garden. They were all healthy too.

Every once in a while, I find small caterpillars that are dried up on it. My theory is that the cardenolide levels might be too much for some of them since it has the highest % of all milkweeds...just a theory though.

I agree that the positive attributes of this plant far outweigh the bad.

Sounds like you are having a fantastic late season with the monarchs, congrats! Tony

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 2:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rickinla(8B SW AL)

We released 4 Monarchs plus 1 Pipevine Swallowtall in south Alabama today. There are a few more cats and several eggs still to collect. I thought this photo was neat, 4 stages of the Monarch.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Leafhead

Awesome progression photo. Looks like something in a book:)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Did anyone watch the Monarch Butterfly segment on CBS Sunday Morning?
This was interesting and inspirational! The speaker...
kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)
2014 Recap w/ Photos
Every winter I like to go through my yardlist and photos...
molanic
A romantic moment
Lots of activity in my garden. We released 7 male Monarchs...
jane__ny
pls.help me ID these guys:-)
Hello! I am currently here in. Tampa, Florida, took...
hawaiiponder34
Aristolochia Elegans Seeds for SASE
I have harvested a ton of seed pods (at least 45 pods!)...
mechelle_m
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™