Unless I bring Monarch eggs indoors, there would be no caterpillars whatsoever.
This is because Asian paper wasps, ants, earwigs, praying mantis, shield bugs and others, feed on the butterfly eggs as soon as they are laid. In fact we have seen no monarch caterpillars on our outdoor swan plants (milkweed) since 2009, at which time Asian paper wasp numbers increased to epidemic proportions.
Yesterday, however, was a day for hatchlings.
First a female butterfly emerged from her chrysalis. She executed her entrance into her butterfly life quite perfectly and then, when she was ready, flew off to enjoy her butterfly life.
The next hatchlings were three tiny Monarch caterpillars. All three emerged from their eggs within minutes of each other and climbed quickly onto the swan plant (milkweed) leaves I had placed nearby for them.
There's something very cool about newly hatched tiny Monarch caterpillars. At about 2 millimetres long and no fatter than a human hair, they are supremely able. Their first task, having emerged from their tiny egg about the size of a small pin head, is to eat the shell of that egg. It's amazing to observe that process - I have a little video of it HERE.
After that they set off to eat as many swan plant (milkweed) leaves as possible. Five skin changes and a lot of leaves later they will be large enough to form a chrysalis (takes a couple of weeks).
Here are pics I took of yesterday's tiny caterpillars, newly emerged from their eggs.
They are now happily munching on swan plant (milkweed) leaves on plants inside our house and, even in just 24 hours, have noticeably grown in size.