Friday, 28 July 2017

#3 - #9

It's been pretty busy this week. 7 more monarchs have been released. I think a few of them are hanging around the house as I see the odd one feeding on our echinacea and sea holly.

I haven't been finding as many eggs lately - only 1 yesterday and 4 today. I as I drive around town, I am constantly on the lookout for milkweed that I can bring home for the caterpillars. I snip the leaves off the stalks, rinse them off and dry them somewhat, then put them in plastic bags in the fridge to stay fresh. I have about two days' stock on hand now. The leaves dry up after a few hours once I put them out. so I'm trying to keep the caterpillars on fresh leaves. I segregate most of them but now that several are about 1cm long, I could put more of them together in containers.

This morning, I found a little guy just after it had shed its skin (black stuff beside it). There are 5 instars (stages). I think this one is in its second one.
I've been pretty fortunate to be able to videotape a couple of them making their first flight after leaving the ' castle. I'm having trouble getting the videos to show in the blog, though.

This one just flew over to the lilac bush where he held on for quite a while. I didn't see him fly from there.
 I have about 46 larvae in various stages and two pupae (chrysalises) that just formed a couple of days ago so it will be another week or so before they eclose (emerge from the chrysalis). By then, other larvae will be pupating. I won't be bringing in eggs after the beginning of August because I want to be all finished by the time Skip and I go on another travel adventure mid-September. From the laying of the egg to eclosing and releasing of the adult can take about 30 days.

To this point of the 9 adults I've released, 7 were female and 2 were male.

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