Upadate: Plan B habitats - New Jersey USA -
As of today we still have 4 adult monarchs alive - lost one last night.
We transferred them to a pet-store "creature" terrarium clear plastic vented container last week.
we put in a couple of small driftwood type branches stuck in some modeling clay for stability and then put in plastic caps filled with red gatorade - we've watched the butterflies eat w/their tongues.
We broke from the protocol and put in some raspberries, strawberry and a slice of orange - and changed them each day. We've carefully let the butterflies perch on our fingers or on a pipe cleaner too. We've even tried to direct them to the food with an eye-dropper.
The butterflies seem to be growing weaker - we don't think they will live much longer.
The other problem seems to be that their wings get stuck to the bottom of the plastic terrarium and they get trapped in place - the dried nectar/gatorade is the culprit we think.
A couple are still eating and pumping their wings.
We pried (very very gently) the wings loose sure that this would kill them in the process but somehow it hasn't (except perhaps one). Once even our cat sent the entire habitat crashing to the ground knocking everything out - they all survived. The butterflies are a lot tougher than they look - we liked learning this about them!
Our butterflies are not flying but we dream that they could have!
We've raised them as carefully as we could and we've enjoyed them every minute.
This whole experience has been a wonderful and inspiring learning journey, we have been honored to participate in it.
Thanks to Monarch Watch Org and Monarchs In Space, everyone on Atlantis and the ISS and all the other experiment participants!
Happy New Year!
Family Friendly Homeschool NJ USA - 11/17/109