Thursday, 17 July 2014

2014 Monarch Butterfly Project

A couple of weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that I hadn't seen any monarch butterfly eggs on the milkweed that we cultivate. From my observations over the past 8 years of propagating butterflies from the egg stage, I have noticed that the numbers were significantly reduced last year.

Up to last week, I hadn't found a single egg underneath the leaves of the milkweed that we cultivate. Then I found an egg. Yay! And Skip found another one yesterday.

Last night, I realized the first egg was going to hatch soon because there was a little black dot on the tip of the egg. Sure enough, Alpha 2014 (herein named 'Alpha') hatched this morning.
Alpha at 2mm shown just below its
 egg casing.
I was just outside cleaning and filling our birdbath and had another look under the leaves of our milkweed plants and I found 4 more eggs. Woo hoo!
I have picked the leaves and brought them inside to hatch. I'm keeping the leaves fresh by keeping the ends in water. Once the eggs hatch, they need to have fresh leaves every day. They double in size pretty much every day.

I'll be keeping you posted...

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