Hey mona! thanks for the advice. wow just 4 days? These guys develop really fast I've noticed. Oh btw, I live in central Florida. It's been HOT HOT down here, but I do keep the caterpillars indoors where it's cooler. I've been rearing them in plastic jars, giving them fresh leaves everyday. Once they form a chrysalis on the lid, I remove the lid and put the chrysalis (including lid it's attached to) in the Butterfly Garden enclosure to await eclosing.
I may take your advice on freezing it but I might wait another day. Decisions decisions. Since I'm a single father, I don't have to worry about a spouse yelling at me for bugs in the freezer or jars of caterpillars on the table. haha. My 6 year old son likes helping me care for the caterpillars and he helped me release our first Monarch butterfly.
Oh and I learned my lesson about handling milkweed. Always wash my hands afterwards now. Man a few nights ago my eyes were BURNING. lol apparently the milky sap can cause eye irritation.
Sorry about the lack of Monarchs in your area though. Is this unusual where you live? So far we've had a consistant supply of eggs and small cats in our garden. I check the milkweeds in our garden for new babies then harvest them off so spiders/wasps/lizards don't eat them. Right now I have about 14 small cats and 2 eggs. From what I hear, in Florida we have whats called a "sink population" of Monarchs meaning they don't migrate out of Florida. The more I read about them, the more interested I get. I think I found a new hobby!