Today I found eggs on my Asclepias physocarpa. It's the only plant that has foliage left. I brought them in to raise. I'm hoping I'll have success with this batch. Fingers are crossed!!
Wow. I haven't seen any Monarchs in my yard for 2 days now. There are some 4th to 5th instars still eating very slowly.
Wow, that is amazing Sandy. Good luck with em. We are supposed to be in peak migration here now, but I am not seeing any adult Monarchs. I saw one when I was visiting at my parent's house today though. My Tropical Milkweed, which was previously stripped by cats, now has new leaves. I am keeping an eye on them.
I didn't see any Monarchs yesterday, but that doesn't mean they weren't there - I just didn't get out much yesterday. I have last instar cats (6) ready to pupate, and there were 3 left on the Calotropis. A. physocarpa is all I have left at this point, with maybe a few sprigs of Cynanchum laeve.
I hope you're successful with yours, too! Isn't this kinda late to be finding eggs, though? When you figure in how long it takes them to reach pupation stage? I thought it was late for mine to be pupating, but I guess not now.
I released 2 females yesterday & saw at least a couple of others flying around as well as a half dozen Queens. I usually have cats up into late Oct/early November here in North Texas. I think my peak migration is in a week or so...checked earlier in late summer but now can't remember.
I have lots of tropical plants with plenty of leaves waiting! I have been using a small paintbrush on the flowers & am now getting lots of seed pods forming that will hopefully get big enough before our first frost! I know several of you haven't had seeds forming either so I decided to help out Mother Nature with a paint brush & it seems to be working!
Twelve of the eggs have hatched this morning. I still have seven eggs left. It will be interesting if all 19 eggs hatch. The Tropical MW which was stripped is putting on new growth. There won't be any seeds though, as the flowers were also eaten. I still have lots of leaves on the physocarpa, as well as huge and numerous seed pods. When these mature, I'll be glad to share some. These plants are from my last year seed crop.
Susan, I got a couple of the giant MW from dogwooderitternet. It's doing great. I plan to pot it in gallon pots to overwinter in the sun room. I found two tiny cats on it already!
I have over 20 chrysalids waiting to eclose. Hope these are healthy, as they were from cats that were collected outside. If the cat doesn't look healthy, it doesn't come in. ;-)
Haven't seen any signs of the migration. Seems to me it's always later in October here.
Wow - congratulations, Sandy!
"Isn't this kinda late to be finding eggs, though?"
Not necessarily Susan. Depends on the year, its weather patterns and the condition of the larval food plants. The Monarch's will lay if there is something to lay on. I'd bet many thousands of ovum are laid late in the season that have no chance to go through.
There are now 17 caterpillars and one egg left--one egg may have been eaten. All are busy eating.
I found several more caterpillars outside, but decided not to bring them in--just didn't look healthy enough.
Two friends from the local nature center--Oxley Nature Center--came over to check out the garden and get some plants for a pollinator's garden. I had two Monarchs eclose this morning, so kept them until they arrived. Neither one had ever held a Monarch butterfly before!!! So, each one was shown how to hold the Monarch. We went outside and each one released her butterfly.
Today there are brand new Monarchs in the garden, that I don't know where they came from. We watched 6 of them play tag in the sky. I'm still wondering when the surge will come. I'm ready!
Besides the Monarchs there was a flurry of Cloudless Sulphurs this morning, and a half dozen Questionmarks. The skippers are thick around the lantana and White Buddleia. Red Admirals are flying through, and Hackberries are lighting. It's an absolutely gorgeous butterfly day. They don't get much better than this.
Brought in some Pipevine cats, a Variegated Frit cat, and 2 big Black Swallowtail cats. Nursery is pretty full for this time of the year. Already have a bunch of Cloudless sulphur chrysalids and some Viceroy cats, in addition to the Monarch chrysalids and cats. Just about the time I thought I was done . . .
Sandy, this is wonderful. I've been worried about the Monarch population after the disastrous winter in Mexico last year. I saw only three in my garden all year, and those all at the same time. Fortunately, one of them (at least) left me a lot of eggs. Nine have pupated, and I am feeding about a dozen more. I don't think I've ever reared larvae of any species when it was this cold -- we had a 20 degree temperature drop last week -- but so far, most seem to be doing OK. I think they've slowed down in their eating. I am curious/anxious to see whether they can reach maturity in time to make the flight to Mexico.
Wow Sandy, congrats on all of your hatchlings! During my last hurrah, I found 30 eggs and only 14 hatched. It was rather depressing. I just released my last 2 earlier in the week. Monarch season is officially done for me. Wah...
It's so good to see your post. You must be in the states. We had the temp drops earlier in the week, but the weather has warmed up and is beautiful. At least our Monarchs won't have as far to migrate. We need a contact in Mexico so we can put the pokey butterflies in glassine envelopes and mail them to their destination!
I don't know if you saw the post--I'm going to Mexico next February with the Monarch Teacher Network! Can't wait. When will you be going back? Have the problems effected your area?
Tracy, your Monarchs should be coming into Oklahoma soon. I've really had some questions this year as to the Monarchs that make it to Mexico. The Monarchs that I'm seeing in my yard that don't stick around are fresh. They can't have traveled that far. The old Monarchs are sticking around and trying to mate with the fresh ones. I had an old Monarch male knock down a fresh Monarch and was trying to mate with it. When I thought I saw the glands on both sets of wings, I picked them up and sent them both on their way. The old guy was so intent and had the young dude pinned to the ground.
One Monarch eclosed this morning--not healthy. Another should eclose later. These were brought in as caterpillars, so odds are against them. However, yesterdays' Monarchs were perfect.
I'm sitting here watching one of my last 6 monarch crysalids eclose! I haven't seen any new cats or eggs this week but have seen a few Queens & Monarchs nectaring in the yard.
I have been using a paint brush on all the tropical milkweed flowers to see if I can get more seeds...so far, I have about a 1/2 dozen pods now. I think it is working!
I am down to only 3 BST cats & seeing a lot of new BFs for me this year(Eastern Tailed Blue, Red Admiral, Common Wood Nymph, etc)...I'm planning a big, sunny BF Host flowerbed...just have to dig up all the grass!
Sandy, let us know when you see the migration come through...they will be here in North Texas soon after!