Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Another Try With Monarchs

Last year about this time, Danielle tried raising a monarch caterpillar. Unfortunately, the butterfly appears to have succumb to a protozoan infection and did not survive. Over the weekend, we found eight monarch caterpillars on our tropical milkweed. As there were only three remaining last night, we decided to bring them inside and try again at being butterfly parents. We set up some branches of milkweed in some water within the same small terrarium.

October 27 - Here is the largest of the three. One small one has already turned into a chrysalis even though it was half the size of this one.

October 30 - All three rescued caterpillars have now pupated and are attached to the grille cover of the terrarium. The one on the left pupated first, the one on the right last night.

November 5 - The Queen caterpillar we intoduced as a small second instar has developed.

November 8 - Today, the first Monarch emerged from its chrysalis. We missed the event, coming back to the cage to see a fully emerged butterfly late morning. We left it for a couple of hours to inflate its wings before transferring it outside early afternoon.

Late in the day, the Queen caterpillar turned into a chrysalis. A few hours in, the chrysalis still has the segments of the original caterpillar.

November 9 - Today was the emergence of the second Monarch. We captured the event in a time-lapse movie. Frames are 30sec apart spanning about two hours from 3:15pm to 5:15pm. We are leaving the butterfly in the cage until the morning.

November 10 - Released the second Monarch this morning.

November 11 - The last Monarch emerged this morning. We set up our small VGA nest-camera in the terrarium. The color contrast is poor.

November 12 - The next morning, we released this final Monarch. It was gone by evening when I got home.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Relevant comments and questions are welcome but submissions with spam-links will not be published.