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Old 06-19-2018, 05:09 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,280 posts, read 4,859,674 times
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So I cut back all the milkweed that the caterpillars ate and I noticed they are fast growing. While doing some pruning yesterday I noticed at least 10 caterpillars on the new growth. I'm sure there is not enough to feed them all. This could become an endless cycle. Guess I'm going to have to buy some more milkweed and keep it in the screened patio so they can't get at them and rotate the plants so I always have some for them.


I'm going to get them all from the nursery and see if I get healthier butterflies. None of the old chrysalis have hatched and the one I did take down was just a dried up nothing. So out of all the caterpillars and chrysalis I had, I think I wound up with maybe 6 healthy butterflies. I think those are the ones that have stuck around to lay more eggs.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:33 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Well in the last few days I have had 12 butterflies emerge and only 2 were not normal, one might make it and we set it free. However, one came out today and it's body is big and the wings are way too small to support it. As much as I enjoy helping these little guys it makes me sad when they are too deformed to survive.


I think the new milkweed I bought from the nursery have had an effect on having healthy Monarchs.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
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I haven't seen a single monarch in my yard this year. I did see a larvae on one of my milkweed plants early last month, however.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:26 PM
 
1,327 posts, read 780,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
Well in the last few days I have had 12 butterflies emerge and only 2 were not normal, one might make it and we set it free. However, one came out today and it's body is big and the wings are way too small to support it. As much as I enjoy helping these little guys it makes me sad when they are too deformed to survive.


I think the new milkweed I bought from the nursery have had an effect on having healthy Monarchs.

How are they doing now? I have spotted two in the last two days.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:49 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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A problem we face, even if we're ecologically sensitive and prone to be proactive, is that so many people are not. So if you live "in town" with a city lot yard, even if you're providing the habitat the monarchs need (a few milkweed) your neighbors probably aren't doing the same, so your favorable habitat is isolated-- fragmented from larger, more suitable tracts out in the rural districts. It's not very efficient for a monarch to wander in your direction-- most of ts travels will be over barren territory and not very productive.He'd be stupid to do it.


I'm in a rural setting with 30 ac of pasture- actually more natural meadow then pasture-- and hundreds of milkweed plants. I can sit on my porch and butterfly watch like some people bird watch. I see 4 monarchs in every field of view at any given time, but it's still unusual to see one over any given 50x100 city-lot-size area.


Maybe you townies need to band together to plant milkweeds in unison over a larger chunk of your neighborhood as a whole?.. also, don't forget to plant other food sources for the adults. They like flowers other than the milkweed to feast on.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:30 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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I put a couple of milkweed plants on the back screened in patio and put some of the caterpillars on it that were on the milkweed plants in the yard. I only put 2 or 3 but there must have been more that I didn't see. Later I only saw 2 chrysalis' but Wednesday I go out there and there are 6 butterflies! I have no idea where they were making their chrysalis' but all except one was normal; it had slightly crooked wings but I set it free on my wild flowers.


Guido - I have a lot of other flowering plants but I buy a lot of milkweed because that is the only plant that monarchs will lay eggs on and the caterpillars eat as you probably know. It has been very hot here and I'm not seeing any new caterpillars on the milkweed in the yard. Not sure if it is because of the heat or despite what I have read, maybe they don't lay eggs all year long in Florida.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:02 AM
 
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I've spotted a few early Monarchs making their way west during this last week - very glad to see them, after a few years' "Monarch drought". I've also noticed more milkweed being planted in gardens here in town (not mine - yet). There may be some milkweed down near my cabin in the woods - need to take a look next time I am there.

It's good to see so many taking action to help save these much-loved butterflies.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:54 AM
 
643 posts, read 182,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
A problem we face, even if we're ecologically sensitive and prone to be proactive, is that so many people are not. So if you live "in town" with a city lot yard, even if you're providing the habitat the monarchs need (a few milkweed) your neighbors probably aren't doing the same, so your favorable habitat is isolated-- fragmented from larger, more suitable tracts out in the rural districts. It's not very efficient for a monarch to wander in your direction-- most of ts travels will be over barren territory and not very productive.He'd be stupid to do it.


I'm in a rural setting with 30 ac of pasture- actually more natural meadow then pasture-- and hundreds of milkweed plants. I can sit on my porch and butterfly watch like some people bird watch. I see 4 monarchs in every field of view at any given time, but it's still unusual to see one over any given 50x100 city-lot-size area.


Maybe you townies need to band together to plant milkweeds in unison over a larger chunk of your neighborhood as a whole?.. also, don't forget to plant other food sources for the adults. They like flowers other than the milkweed to feast on.
( last paragraph)......." they like flowers other than milkweed to feed on"

My front lawn butterfly bush always has butterflies .

I really like that bush as it is fast growing, fragrant, and constantly putting out new blooms .

Deer tolerant also as one of the few bushes I have planted that deer leave alone.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,220 posts, read 44,887,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
Well in the last few days I have had 12 butterflies emerge and only 2 were not normal, one might make it and we set it free. However, one came out today and it's body is big and the wings are way too small to support it. As much as I enjoy helping these little guys it makes me sad when they are too deformed to survive.


I think the new milkweed I bought from the nursery have had an effect on having healthy Monarchs.

That may be that you just "caught" it having emerged from the chrysalis, initially the body is full of blood and fluids that will be pumped into the wings to fully "deploy" them.



Hope I am right about this. Tell me this guy "straightened himself out".


Here in south-central Washington, I do have quite a bit of milkweed on the 13 acre place, I have not noticed any caterpillars this year, have not noticed but maybe a few Monarchs. Maybe we are not on a major migration path.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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I saw that this thread seemed to begin with Generation One questions, comments, suggestions. Here in northeast Florida in mid-September I am in the midst of Generation Four. Outside, 18 successfully fluttered away, 1 emerged deformed, 7 died in their chrysalides (OE?, parasitic tachynids and/or wasps? Don't know for sure.) Inside in the nursery, 1 cat parasitized by tachynid, 3 died in chrysalides, but 16 successful releases with 1 who just emerged 5 minutes ago, another that is ready to emerge, and 7 more chrysalides that should give forth butterflies by this weekend. I also have two stragglers, an instar5 cat and an instar1 cat that hatched last night.

As for running out of milkweed, boy did I ever considering the 50+ hungry caterpillars all eating at the same time. No nursery near me, not even two native plant nurseries, have anything besides the tropical. Over the course of one week I bought 22 new plants since all of my 40+- in-ground milkweeds were bare sticks. I didn't even bother to plant the new ones. At the rate I calculated, 4 caterpillars were consuming an entire plant in 1 day. In a pinch, tropical just had to do, but my local nursery is 90% certain that their grower does not use pesticides. I have to believe it's true because my first plants in 2016 from Lowe's were probably full of pesticides and growth enhancers, at least I consider that a factor toward a low survival rate that year.

My go-to for supplies (other than milkweed) is monarchbutterflyshop.net. Signed up for emails which are always full of great info and links.

Note: purposely I do not use all the proper words like pupating and eclosing .. I use egg hatching, j-hanging, forming chrysalides (my choice of word for more than one chrysalis...at least I don't use the word cocoon), emerging when butterflies crack open their chrysalis shell and pop out, the Monarch Dance as a butterfly starts pumping up its wings and forming its straw (proboscis). The fastest way to put someone to sleep, whom you hope to excite and to get involved, is to blabber with too many scientific words :-)

So, posters, any update from your neck of the woods?
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