Monday, 10 July 2017

Found Some More!

I found another larva this morning on the milkweed in the garden and a egg! The egg should hatch in a couple of days.
It's the first egg that I've found this year and there may be more. I need to have another good look in the same area as monarchs usually lay several eggs in the same general area in the same general time span.

The larva that I found is about 5 days old. I left it on its leaf and tore around it to bring it inside. I added another juicy one to encourage it to eat.

I do rinse the leaves off that I bring in from outside and dry them. I also rinse the 'milk' off the cut area and either wrap it in wet paper towel, rest it in residual moisture in the jar, or put it through plastic wrap to sit in water.

These three larvae are really making short work of this cluster of leaves I brought in yesterday. One of these caterpillars isn't doing so well. Yesterday it looked like all its skin didn't shed off as pieces of it were still attached. It spent most of yesterday lying on the paper towel on the bottom of the 'Castle' so I put it on a fresh leaf. It lay there for the rest of the day - not moving much or eating. Then this morning, I found it with these other two. There is still some flaky loose skin attached. Time will tell if it thrives and makes it to the pupa stage.
This one is working on its own.
There is lots of frass to clean out now as they are eating and pooping a lot more.
I now have 4 different containers on the kitchen table and three jars with milkweed leaf clusters in the Caterpiller Castle. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to this. I am just experimenting. From past experience, I know to isolate the eggs and keep them on their own until after the larva has hatched and it's about 1/4" in length. Then it's big enough not to get eaten by the others.

The eldest larvae should be pupating any time now. They're getting really big. Soon they'll climb to the top of their enclosure and begin attaching themselves in preparation for shedding their last skin and making a chrysalis.

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