Sadly, all are testing OE positive-photo Southern CA.)December 1, 2013

Sadly, all are testing positive for OE. And heavily infested, despite cleaning the leaves with bleach water and rinsing and lots of careful disinfecting. Had to freeze 5 butterflies and 12 cats today, was a sad day. The local vet let me use their microscope and took this picture of one of the butterflies (scotch tape pressed to abdomen)

The large ovals are butterfly wing scales. The dark clusters are OE spores.

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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

So sorry! I have had to euthanize butterflies before when I found them out in my yard towards the end of the season. Very sad and heavy thing to do.

Thank you for sharing your photo.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Thanks bernergrrl for your reply. What made it harder was that they looked fine overall except abdomen didn't look 'textbook healthy', but they were eager to be released. :(

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 3:19PM
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oh wow, I am so sorry to hear that :-(. .I cannot imagine the feeling of euthanizing these butterflies, unless if its really necessary I will do the same..hope the next batch will be healthier.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 5:52AM
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Thanks hawaiiponder. Some of the more recent emergees have had crumpled wings and were so weak. Some look fine but I know they have to have the disease, they just have a lighter spore load.

My microscope from Amazon for $39.99 was a joke and has to be returned. So back to the vet to check the abdomen samples-hope they bear with me. Does anyone know of a source for used microscopes?

I am sad every time one has to be euthanized, I tell it I'm sorry...and I am sorry.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:02PM
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after reading your post, I wonder if my cats have OE, I have few cats that tried to pupate but didn't make it, it got stuck into "J" position, and died. some did make it to chrysalis stage, but half turned dark green, and died, those who made it to the 7th day, didn't even eclosed, then died, and some just came out and too weak, and died, but I was looking for signs of OE, like described in the net, has a blotchy spots on chrysalis, crumpled wings, but so far none of it I saw, they just died...that's like one batch, after cleaning the cage container the cats seems fine. now I have to look for microscope for me to use as well. I have no hurt feelings when I euthanized those nearly dead, I guess I am so used to it already. I have noticed a lot of wild monarch butterflies have been flying in and out in our small property, also other butterflies such as gulf frits, which made my yard as their "station" because of my passionvine creeping in the front yard. I have swallowtails, cabbage white and lesser grass something. I am loving it, but I hope to see more monarchs, and hopefully monarch clusters in the future:-).

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 5:01AM
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You can try your local CraigsList to find a used microscope. I've see them as low as $50.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:43PM
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