Let's talk about Monarchs!
Moderator: Monarch Watch
Emily wrote:Hello again, everyone! I just wanted to let everyone know our first successful butterfly emerged from the chrysalis sometime in the early morning hours! I was worried because he went over 2 weeks in the chrysalis, but we had a week long stretch of very chilly weather (50's during the day) so I wonder if he "knew" somehow to wait until a warmer stretch came along. Today is the first day it's supposed to be above 60-65 degrees and he picked today to come out! It could be coincidence, but these butterflies are so amazing I wouldn't put it past him to just know what he's doing. Was wondering if anyone knew if they had that sort of internal clock.
Another question, though - he isn't ready to fly yet, but he'll be ready sometime during the day today before my daughter gets home from school. Is it okay if I wait until she gets home (about 7 hours now). I know he'll be ready to fly before then, so do I need to put some fruit in the mesh cage for him, if I wait? I really want her to be able to release him, but I also want what's best for the butterfly.
We have two more chrysalis that we're waiting on, then we'll be done for the season. I'm already looking forward to next year to do it all over again! Have a wonderful day, everyone!
Nancy Werner wrote:Hi Emily--
Congratulations on starting your monarch rearing! Don't be discouraged---one must expect to lose some amount of the monarchs in whatever stage. I've been raising them for 44 years and I lose some, too. It's a wonderful "miracle of birth" experience for kids and a valuable lesson in kindness and stewardship, as well, for everyone.
Please check out my posts in the Monarch Rearing forum and my articles in the University of Minnesota's MLMP (Monarch Larva Monitoring Project) website at http://www.mlmp.org/Newsletters/monthly/2011 and click on the November one, also http://www.mlmp.org/Newsletters/monthly/2012 and click on the June-July one. Everyone raises them differently, and these articles list a lot of my tips for large, healthy monarch butterflies.
It was a more successful year for the tachinid parasites, as posted. Spiders are another threat to the caterpillars. I have found that when I check my various "sources" (milkweed plants) daily and raise monarchs from eggs, I have the best luck.
Best of luck to you, and for future years of raising the "flutters" as well! And remember the story of the starfish--'it makes a difference to this one'
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