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Monarch travelers

Posted by christie_sw_mo Z6 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 18, 11 at 15:03

I have four Tropical Milkweed plants that I've been checking regularly for cats but hadn't seen a single one or any signs of them. When I checked them yesterday, there were six big cats, and all of them look like they're ready to pupate. I thought it was interesting that they all showed up at the same time and look like they're at the same phase. I wish they could tell me how far they traveled.
I have a Common Milkweed plant too. It hasn't had any cats on it either so I borrowed some leaves from that and brought them all inside. Crossing my fingers that I don't get wasps instead of butterflies.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Monarch travelers

I found two mature cats about 2 weeks ago and I was also worried but they pupated and eclosed perfectly. Sometimes I forget that they do survive in the wild too!

RE: Monarch travelers

Just a follow-up. All six have eclosed, five were ok, one got stuck and its wings didn't fully open. Hope it wasn't diseased.
Only one of the six was a female, the very last one to emerge. Here she is:
last of 6 Monarchs female

I didn't notice until just now but it looks like there's some kind of fly or something on the butterfly's wing near the top. This was still in my house!

RE: Monarch travelers

Congrats on the eclosures! If you were checking the tropical regularly how did you miss 6 cats?

I just found a 2nd and 3rd instar Black swallowtail on the dill and parsley tonight. I swear I've been checking that dill almost every day (not the parsley though, it's too big with too many curly leaves). The caterpillears are elusive sometimes!

RE: Monarch travelers

I've found a few milkweed plants in our hayfield behind our yard. It gets cut a couple times a year so the plants are small and usually don't get a chance to flower or go to seed. I think maybe the cats must've been on a plant in our field or the neighbor's field and ran out of food then went looking for more and found my tropical milkweed. It makes me curious how far they can go if they run out of food.

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