Friday, 1 August 2014

Caterpillar Update

2 1/2 weeks ago, 4 monarch butterfly eggs hatched. The larvae from the 2 eggs that hatched previously didn't thrive for some reason. Of these 4 eggs, three have made it this far in the larva stage. Interestingly, they have grown at different rates.

The fatso on the bottom is the most voracious eater (and pooper). The one above it is about 25% smaller.

I give them fresh milkweed leaves every day - the tenderest ones from the top of the plant. I often throw in another leaf to make sure they have enough to eat through the night.

They reside in this container that Scooter was given many years ago. When we have more than 3 or 4 larvae, I also use a large mayonnaise jar. When the larvae are smaller in girth than the holes in the top, I use a piece of pantihose across the top anchored by an elastic band.
This little guy seems to be injured. A week ago, I thought it was dead and almost threw it out but left it in the container just in case.
Sure enough he rallied, but is significantly smaller than the other two. He's been on the inside of the lid of the container for the last couple of days - not eating. I'm not sure why but I don't give him much of a chance of making it.The other two should make it to the chrysalis stage - probably within the next week or so. Then we'll just have to wait about a week for them to emerge as butterflies.

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