Don't be nersvous,Linda! Knowledge is power
.( Well.... you are powerless to do something when disease hits.. but at least you know what is going on.) Here are the things I now look out for:
Parisitoids that kill Butterflies(They stop the butterfly life cycle process and subsitute their own):
~Tachinid fly (lays eggs on caterpillar or leaf..emerges from chrysalis)
~Chalcid wasp (emerges from chrysalis)
~Trichogramma wasp ( The female lays eggs in moth & butterfly eggs.. an adult wasp emerges from egg)
Virus,Protozoa and Bacterial disease:
~and the dreaded OE (Because many OE infected Monarchs can still live to infect others. If I have a Chrysalis that turns a mottled black(*not the black before emergence) I put it in the freezer and dispose of it carefully.
~Bacterial diseases (which can be prevented with clean,dry environments for cats.)
~And of course there is always pesticide poisoning!
But of the 60 raised at school this year.. there were only 2 early instar "natural deaths" (unexplained) and one malformed pupa that died(also unexplained) All the others were raised and released!
And I have raised and relased a dozen or more happy/healthy guys here!
I know it sounds excessive.. But I try my best to raise each cat in it's own container.At least untill they areready to pupate.
Of course I am concerned about this latest batch...But with all the problems Monarchs face.....It seems like it is all the more reason to raise them.