Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Latest Monarch News and Blues

monarch on sunflower @ Purdue

Well I can't believe this! I have released 86 Monarch butterflies up to today! The egg count as of tonight is 449! Unbelievable! I am also very surprised that about 80% have been collected in my own garden. I am really surprised at this since last summer I collected only 35 eggs and released about 22 monarchs. The only difference I can see is that I go out almost everyday and look at the milkweed plants.

In keeping track of the eggs collected and butterflies released, I am also keeping track of the little failures too.. I have had a few caterpillars die in the process of pupating (making their chrysalis) and three butterflies that have emerged with deformed wings. I think the caterpillars died because of our extreme heat this week. At least that is what I suspect. Unfortunately I have had euthanized the butterflies. In doing a little research, I found that the ones who emerge deformed are usueating flowersally carriers of a deadly fungal disease and/or a deadly bacterium. In any case, they cannot fly or feed so euthanizing is the most humane end for those individuals.

I find it very interesting that the caterpillars do not just eat all of the leaves in the milkweed stems I have giving them. I have observed them eating the seed pods and flowers too! So cool!
Have a great day! And don't forget to smile! smile!


  1. Great blog! Wonderful pictures and information. Keep it up.

  2. Than you Sandra! I am glad you enjoy it!