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help: Monarch emerged with ONE antennae today

Posted by Monarch-Ma-so.cal 10 Southern CA. (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 16, 13 at 19:48

I needed to know if a Monarch can survive with just one antennae? There's a little stubby hint of an antennae in the place of the missing one. The chrysalis was a little stuck here and over this side of his face including over one eye. I gently took off the remaining chrysalis and he seemed relieved!

Can they live with just one antennae? I'd be grateful for advice, thanks.


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RE: help: Monarch emerged with ONE antennae today

A person that I gave a couple of caterpillars to had that happen. Give it at least a day or two to dry its wings good and then see if it can fly. They can navigate with only one antenna. Page 149, "The Monarch Butterfly, International Traveler", Dr. Fred Urquhart.

I don't know if you heard. I am talking with Dr. Sonia Altizer of Project Monarch Health about updating their website to reflect what she told me about not killing wild monarchs that have OE. She emailed me back today.

In your area you probably have a resident population of sorts. Areas where Monarchs breed year round have higher levels of OE.

This is I think important to think about. Dr. Altizer shared this with me earlier.

"On the topic of resistance evolution, we have some results published that show that monarchs *can* harbor genetically-based resistance to OE, BUT the resistance is imperfect AND strain-specific. In other words, a resistant monarch will still get infected, but to a lesser
degree, and a butterfly that is resistant to some strains will still be susceptible to others, which makes it difficult in general for resistance to increase at the population-level over time."

I think since there is no cure for OE that scientists are having to rethink killing all those that test positive especially those that are found in the wild. When tagging I used to test and destroy heavily infected specimens. Now, I just test, tag, and then let them go. Perhaps in the future Monarchs may evolve a better resistance/tolerance to OE.

If you have a radio shack in your area you can purchase a small microscope from them for under $20. If you follow the video from Live Monarch you can see the scales and OE spores. Live Monarch recommended taping the tape across the bottom of the little microscope. I recommend wiping the microscope with Clorox wipes if you do that to kill any spores from that sample. You will have to move the tape a round to make sure it is centered to see the spores. But, it does work.
powerful 60-100x magnification microscope

Project Monarch Health website in the "What is OE?" category under the title of "OE Spores".
"OE spores are dormant cells found on the outside of infected monarchs. These tiny spores are sandwiched in between the scales that cover a butterfly’s body. The greatest concentration of spores is usually on the abdomen. Spores are much smaller than scales. In fact, a monarch scale is about 100 times larger than an OE spore. You must use a light microscope set at 40 to 100X to see a spore. Even at this magnification spores look like small, brown or black lemon-shaped objects. Here is a picture of OE spores at 400X [picture is on their website]".

Here is a link that might be useful: Genetic variation in resistance, but not tolerance, to a protozoan parasite in the monarch butterfly


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