In response to farmerwhites. I have been raising monarchs now for many years. Have tagged for two years Here in Northeast Ohio. My mother and I keep records to see how many we get. I did notice that things were different from last year. I found 10 caterpillars all on one leaf on June the 5th in 2003. And continued finding them all summer long (84 total).
This year I did not find anything until July 19th. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find any. Then all of a sudden I was finding one occasionally. Then in the 2nd and 3rd week of August, it was like baby boom. I found over 50% of my findings in those two weeks (45 cats). I found 77 total this season, and gave several away to school class rooms.
I would have to say that I lost at least 10 to parasites or death. and hatched 63 butterflies, One butterflies abdomen was extremely large so it could not fly well, figured it a gonner for sure. But all in all it seemed like I found the normal amount but everything was just much later than 03. And I only found 6 caterpillars in September here. So it seemed to end earlier also here for me. Has been an interesting year indeed. Butterflylover