Sunday, July 11, 2010

monarch egg-pindead size

A monarch egg is usually laid on the underside of a milkweed leaf (any species can be used) and is about the size of a pinhead. The eggs can also appear on stems, topside of the leaf and inthe flower cluster. When looking at it with a magnifying lens it is yellow and conical in shape and appears to have ribs. When it is ready to hatch it will have a little black spot in it, that is the caerpillar's head. After it hatches, it eats the egg casing because there are rich nutrients in it. After eating the egg the caterpillar will eat a small hole or ring around the area. That is a good way of seeing where the caterpillars are, but you have to catch the hatchling brfore it gets eaten and that will be very soon after hatching. I look for eggs everyday and take them indoors. I have been very lucky this year that I have found about 9 caterpillars, one was 3rd instar stage and turned into the chrysalis today. Very exciting! As of this evening my total count is 98 eggs, 9 caterpillars and of those 15 are in chrysalis form. The first chrysalis will hatch tomorrow!
monarch chrysalis

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