Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Fifth Eclose

I've been having a wonderful summer crafting, going to friends' cottages, shopping for a new bathroom, etc.  I haven't really been keeping up with my blogging.

While I was away on the weekend, 2 monarchs eclosed and were released and two others (a male and a female) yesterday. They usually emerge from the chrysalis in the morning so I often discover a new adult when I make it down to the kitchen for breakfast.

This morning a male had eclosed. In this photo, the empty chrysalis cases are visible. If they are near others, I leave them there, otherwise when I peel one off the ceiling of the caterpillar castle, any others nearby will peel off too as their fibres are spread over each other. There is no harm leaving them this way. If I peel one off by mistake, I just take a needle and thread and stitch it (through the fibres at the top of the chrysalis only) to the top of the enclosure. The stitches are easily snipped out later on.
His wings were fully developed so I opened the enclosure and sat it out on my deck in the shade so he could fly away at will. It took him about 1/2 hour to find the 'door'. He then sat there for a while.
There are no larvae in that enclosure so there's no fear that they'll crawl away. After a while he flew off and over to a neighbour's tree. It will be a while before he begins to feed.
My operation is scaled down this year. My last larva is going to pupate in a couple of days. I'm not taking in any more eggs although there are plenty on my milkweed. I was very happy with my success last year but this year have too much going on to be able to devote the required attention to a big operation. If all goes well, I'll release 22 adults and it will all be over by the middle of this month.

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