Surprise, surprise, we currently have even more Monarch caterpillars and subsequently more chrysalis's and soon butterflies. It's just so late in the season and these were entirely unexpected.
A bunch of late milkweed plants have grown up along a bank beside our house, from seeds that blew down from last year's plants growing in my garden. Now, really late in our season, they're quite young healthy plants. Yes, a Monarch Butterfly was swinging around them a while back and now there are many caterpillars. Wasp danger has passed, which means the caterpillars are doing well.
When they enter their 5th instar I bring the caterpillars into the house to be safe until they eclose. Then, when they form their chrysalis, I make a note of the date and attach it to the toothpick I poke into the florists foam. This gives me an idea of when they'll begin their emerging process. The butterfly that emerged last week, took 14 days to eclose so, given the rapid cooling of our Autumn/Winter air temperatures at the moment, it will be interesting to see how long the next ones take to emerge.
There are 16 chrysalis so far, plus 4 caterpillar J's, with more to come.
*** Julie's Butterflies Blog comes to you from Julie Vause, New Zealand ***
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Opua, New Zealand.
Keen butterfly photographer and raises Monarch Butterflies for release.
" I'm crazy about butterflies and enjoy sharing the beauty and wonder of their transformations."
Monarch Caterpillar emerging from egg
Click on video to enlarge
UNRAVELLING MONARCH MYSTERY