friday monarch report

Before I go on to post my “main” post for today, here’s an update on the Monarch caterpillar being kept in the living room. It has grown considerably since yesterday morning, when I posted a brief update on the piece about the caterpillar’s molt. As of yesterday morning, the caterpillar measured about 30mm in length (over an inch). As of this morning, it looks to be about 45mm (about 1 3/4 inches), and its black antennae are looking much longer now. It’s eating like mad this morning and blazed through most of a couple of milkweed leaves last night. I’m just heading out to get some fresh leaves to replenish its supply as soon as I post this morning’s pieces to the blog.

I should mention, for those who might wonder why I brought the caterpillar indoors, that I did so partly to observe it, and also because I happen to know just how susceptible these creatures are to attack from predators such as certain species of Stinkbugs. The day before last, I found another Monarch caterpillar — much further advanced in size — but left it in place. Yesterday, I returned to the same plant and the caterpillar is now gone. I’m hoping that it is okay, but I have a sinking feeling that it may have ended up as someone’s dinner. I’m not big on intervention in the lives of wild creatures, but I’ve decided to bring a few caterpillars indoors to rear this summer. I’ll definitely do so if I find any Cecropia or certain Sphinx cats as I know how often they are parasitized in this region (I’ve posted about this in the past), so it would be nice to raise a few indoors where they would be protected. Okay, on to my regular post for the day.

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2 Responses to “friday monarch report”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    I am glad that you brought this Monarch inside. I look forward to every post about its progress. A few weeks back Cindy from Woodsong posted some photos of Luna moth she had raised indoors and then released. It’s so beautiful to see, and quite inspiring. I don’t know why I never thought to do it.

  2. burning silo Says:

    Robin – I’m glad I brought this caterpillar inside too. After seeing what happened to the one at the same location last year, I didn’t have to give it a second thought. Probably should have done the same with the one I encountered a couple of days ago. Oh well! It’s actually very interesting to be able to see how many leaves one of these caterpillars eats in a day, and how quickly it grows. I didn’t have as much of a sense of that until now as I’ve never measured and photographed one on a daily basis. I do sometimes bring very advanced caterpillars in to cocoon and see what they emerge as, and that’s very interesting indeed. I’ll try to do a bit of that in the next while and will post some photos if I have any success.