Our first monarch hatch of the season

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Critters' started by Gilda, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. Aug 14, 2017 #1

    Gilda

    Gilda

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    We've been gathering monarch caterpillars , growing them till hatching stage for three years now. Our first year we released 40+ , last year there weren't many.. only released about 10.. this year we are seeing more adults. We actually saw a female laying her eggs a few days ago. It is such an amazing process they go through.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Aug 15, 2017 #2

    troy

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    no hatred!!
    I've seen 2 this year so far, their black and orage colors really pop, really cool gilda!!
     
  3. Aug 15, 2017 #3

    SlipperFan

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    I have allowed all kinds of wild milkweed grow around/in my flower beds, plus planted a few. But I've not seen any monarchs yet. Or caterpillars.
     
  4. Aug 15, 2017 #4

    John M

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    I've noticed a lot more Monarchs this year. The first was in late June! Normally, I don't see them until late July, if at all. I found a couple caterpillars the other day; so, I set up my "Monarch Caterpillar Castle" that a neighbour gave me a few years ago. It's a fine mesh net enclosure used to protect and raise the caterpillars. I put in a fresh cut stem of Milkweed every day. The first one made a chrysalis yesterday. The other one was only an 8th of an inch long when I found it; so, now it's maybe an inch long. He's going to be at least a week more before he's big enough to make the "big transformation". 'Looking forward to seeing and releasing the adult Butterflies that emerge. 'Hope I can catch them just as they begin to excape the confines of the chrysalis shell.

    I haven't done this in years and years. 'Kinda fun! The last time was about 20+ years ago. I found a female Cecropia Moth loaded with so many eggs that she couldn't fly! She climbed all over my hand and laid eggs on me. Once she became lighter, I let her go to finish laying her eggs in natural places. However, I kept the eggs and hatched them. 'Spent many weeks being a caterpillar slave, constantly cutting suitable greenery to feed the little eating machines. In the end, I had a couple dozen cocoons to over-winter in my unheated garage and then the next spring, it was incredible to have so many of these gorgeous, HUGE, silk moths hatch out. I let them all go without collecting any more eggs from the new generation. Besides, they were all siblings and really needed to fly free to find unrelated mates, not mate with each other. It was a LOT of work the previous summer; but, I was glad I'd done it. Nature is amazing!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  5. Aug 15, 2017 #5

    Gilda

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    Thanks all..I apologize for the horrid picture. My phone does not take good pics.

    John it is fun ! I enjoyed your story about the moth ! Do you grow tropical milkweed ? We have found Monarchs prefer it over any other milkweed. Dot ,you may want to try that also. We winter over cuttings for the next year and also plant seed.

    A tip on catching the emerging..the morning when they turn black and you can see their wings..birth is within a few hours. Ours usually hatch between 11 am and 2pm. They will then spend 2 hours or more depending on warmth to expel liquid and pump their wings. The hatching is in a blink of an eye when the chrysalis splits and they emerge. I have excellent pics and video of the process. It amazed me the first time on how long it takes them to fly once they emerge. It is a delicate time for them.

    I hope you raise a lot !!
     
  6. Aug 15, 2017 #6

    NYEric

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    Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. Aug 15, 2017 #7

    abax

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    Congratulations to all of you for your efforts. We're trying
    to find good homes for six half- mature skunks! The
    licensed live capture person has taken two to state designated release areas. I saw one in the trap just a few minutes ago...that makes THREE relocated to a good
    home. Not quite so exciting as Monarchs, but safer for
    the skunks and us!
     
  8. Aug 15, 2017 #8

    Gilda

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  9. Aug 15, 2017 #9

    Wendy

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    Great post! Love hearing about the Monarchs.

    I planted Asclepia incarnata in our new front garden this year. Last year we didn't see one Monarch but this year we've seen several on the flowers when they opened. It's pretty cool to be out weeding and enjoy the sight of Monarchs in the garden. :clap:
     
  10. Aug 15, 2017 #10

    Justin

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    Cool i should do this.
     
  11. Aug 15, 2017 #11

    John M

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    ..
     
  12. Aug 15, 2017 #12

    TrueNorth

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    I haven't seen any here in Ottawa for a couple of years. A few years ago we raised over a dozen. I've found that ants or earwigs will eat the eggs so I have to find the eggs before they do.
     
  13. Aug 18, 2017 #13

    Happypaphy7

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    I love watching insects molting.
    I used to have lots of bugs of all kinds in my room and watch them molt at night.
    Dragonflies, cicadas, butterflies were among the most fascinating to me!

    A documentary on monarch butterfly was just amazing. I still can't believe if the ending is true as it sounded like a magic!

    This scientist and his wife who spent their life mapping the migration routes of this species, finally found the winter resting place for them in Mexico, visit the place, then as he sits down on a rock in the area filled with dead monarch, he spots this particular individual with a numbered tag he himself attached months ago in the U.S. which proved & completed his life long search and theory about monarch's migration.
     
  14. Aug 18, 2017 #14

    John M

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    Why were they dead? They migrate to Mexico to overwinter and survive so that they can then fly back North in the spring. "...area(s) filled with dead Monarch(s)..." is a disaster!
     
  15. Aug 18, 2017 #15

    Happypaphy7

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    Not all, but many die there it says.
    Lots and lots of them on trees, and many are dead on the field.

    I think either in the same documentary or some other thing I saw about this species said that the global warming is a threat for this overwintering population in Mexico because it "wakes them up" during the hibernation period and they will exhaust themselves.

    Some fall off and die because of heavy rain it says.

    I would think some just die of natural cause, aging?

    Along with the global warming, the habitat disruption by humans of couse is a main threat to them as field of milkweed are being converted into human use.
     
  16. Aug 20, 2017 #16

    cnycharles

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    Since there is such a small area in Mexico of their proper overwintering habitat, even if you raise the numbers in their propagation zones, if there aren't enough trees for them to hang out on then they don't have a proper place to 'live'. They need more forest in Mexico to sleep in


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  17. Aug 28, 2017 #17

    Don I

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    Like John said I don't think I have ever seen so many Monarchs as this year. We've been going to the same Conservation area for 3 dogs. It's an old farm, so there are lots of fields and lots of common milkweed. Even so some years are pretty sparse. I wondered if there had been a huge release of them this year. They were just everywhere.
    Don
     

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