Mama Monarch Must Have Visited....

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)September 23, 2012

but I didn't see her. There are little monarch cats all this size all over my A. curassavicas -

I also found several more cloudless sulphur cats on the partridge peas, which are continuing to make more blossoms. The Mama sulphurs must be laying the eggs on the flowers, because they're pure yellow -

I don't think I'm going to bring any of these cats in to raise myself. We're going on a trip to Virginia in a couple of weeks, so I won't be here to do the work or release them. My daughter will be here, but she works, and she's not into raising cats. Here's hoping they can make it on their own!

Sherry

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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I bet they'll be fine, MissSherry. I love Cloudless Sulphur cats - so pretty! I haven't had any of those either for about 3 years now. And, congrats on your Monarchs!

We aren't seeing a large migration this year, since the Monarchs (most) are following the eastern flyway along the coast. The drought has not affected them as much as us. I am so ready for some good rain.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:10PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

We have seen quite a few move through this year. More than I remember in the past. It's suprising because we had a pretty good drought early in the season.
-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:38PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Hi, Elisabeth! I'm attaching the Journey North map showing the Monarch migration as of end of last week. You can see how they are clustered along the NE coast now. They may be moving east from where you are to follow that line, and a few moving South. I have a few in the garden, just not the numbers I normally have, being in the midst of the Central Flyway.

I personally am glad they seek out the region with the most available nectar plants because right now nectar plants in the central USA have dried up, died, gone dormant, or have limited nectar available due to the drought.

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Journey North Monarch Migration Map

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:05AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Ahh, so cute. I am jealous! No more babies up here, but I still have 8 chrysalises yet to eclose.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:29AM
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alch21

hundreds of Monarchs are flying by today ! Such a wonderful sight !

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 5:13PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Where are you Alch? I would love to see that.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:43AM
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alch21

South carolina ! It is magical every year !

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 3:13PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I'm always amazed at how fast monarch caterpillars grow!
I got this picture of one section of the milkweeds today -

I think a lot of these will be able to pupate and reach adulthood, since I haven't been seeing any wasps lately - YAY!!

Sherry

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:17PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

You are right, MissSherry! I haven't seen many lately either. Have they holed up for winter already?

I am finding more Gulf Frit cats in the garden, which means either the wasps or other predators aren't as plentiful right now. Did you have larger numbers of predators this year, like we did? We attributed the increased numbers to a longer spring - beginning around late February instead of late March, milder winter, etc.

Everyday I go out and find a few more Gulf Frits and/or Variegated Frits. The GFs are still here laying eggs, for Pete's sake. I've seen Buckeyes, American and Painted Ladies, Monarchs, Dainty Sulphurs, lots of Gray Hairsteaks, Skippers, but not much else. Still better than last year.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:41AM
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coolbutterfly(5A)

congratulations on your monarchs Miss sherry! Even though the migration has been slow in the central region this year, we still got bombarded with eggs the first week of September.

I ended up with a final batch of 54 because of two potted tropical plants...There is going to be a mass hatching over the next couple days as most of the chrysalises are getting dark. It's going to be 76 degrees on Wednesday and only 52 on Thursday! I will probably have one left when the cold snap hits (and only because the poor cat got lost for a day and a half and had nothing to eat!) Be on the lookout for some Minnesota monarchs! Tony :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:25PM
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rickinla(8B SW AL)

At least 1 Monarch has made it to south Alabama. I found several small cats on my milkweed today.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:24PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Susan, I haven't seen nearly as many predators this year as usual. Usually, there are a lot of predatory stink bugs in addition to a good many wasps, but I don't remember seeing any of the stink bugs - YAY!

You've really got a lot of monarchs, Tony! I don't think there were nearly 54 cats on my plants, more like ?30 or so.
It rained a lot for two days here, then we got a cold front. I opened my window last night and slept better than I have in a long time - it got down to 61 glorious degrees! Where you are is like another world, though - I can't imagine what a Minnesota winter must be like. I'm told I don't want to know! :)

Rickinla, your cat looks just like mine looked when I first found them, so I guess they hit lower Alabama about the same time they got here. Are you in the Mobile area?

There are only a few cats left on the milkweed. I found one pupating yesterday, and it looks like it just made the transition -

Sherry

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:55AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I can only find one monarch cat still eating -

Sherry

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:37PM
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rickinla(8B SW AL)

I think mine are behind yours, Sherry. They were only about 1/2" long and skinny. The largest now is close to 1". There is a good amount of Monarchs down at Dauphin Island according to my brother-in-law.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 6:20PM
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rickinla(8B SW AL)

I had another visitor yesterday afternoon, that showed up again today. It was nectaring on my milkweed, the cats are getting big. maybe 2" long.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:08PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Sorry Susan, I didn't catch that link till today. That is really cool. I will be visiting it frequently. The migration has slowed down here. I saw one last Friday but now the temps have dipped down into the 30's at night. So, unless we get warmer temps, I don't think we will be seeing many more.
Thanks,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:05PM
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linda_tx8(8)

The migration map shows some sightings in southcentral Texas recently, but I haven't seen a single Monarch since the spring ones. I've spotted Two-tailed Tigers, but so far no eggs and no cats. Queens have come by, but I haven't found any eggs or cats for those all year either. Right now, there's GF and Buckeye cats.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:01PM
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