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Old 06-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default I've had a bumper crop of monarch caterpillars!

Normally in a season I raise and release maybe 2 dozen total. Some from my yard and some from work. And usually I don't start finding them until July. This year I've got 29 just from my yard! I have them in various cages and critter keepers in a rabbit hutch outside, so they're protected from the weather and predators, but still exposed to natural light and humidity. I'm growing 6 species of milkweed in the yard and have found monarchs on 4 species this season so far.

I also found 10 painted lady caterpillars on pussytoes in my front garden. I let them be, except I moved several to another patch of pussytoes to make sure they all have enough to eat.
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I've had a bumper crop of monarch caterpillars!-img_20170614_062818192.jpg   I've had a bumper crop of monarch caterpillars!-img_20170615_073807017.jpg   I've had a bumper crop of monarch caterpillars!-img_20170610_174351092.jpg  
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:24 PM   #2
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Wonderful news! I hope to see more here this year as i'ts been pretty pitiful the last couple of years.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:59 PM   #3
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Oh nice job gymell~~~ I think I've seen the painted ladies come thru here before.

ww
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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Yay!

Good news--especially since there numbers have been down.

Just yesterday, I saw what could have been a monarch in our yard--i was hoping to get a close-up so that I could verify my ID. It was fluttering at a bit of a distances.

I haven't had caterpillars here for a few years. I'm hoping that that will change this year. I miss them.

Enjoy yours.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:13 AM   #5
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In this mornings paper I just read about how the avocado business in Mexico is stripping the land of the monarchs Wintering grounds to meet such high demands.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymell View Post
I also found 10 painted lady caterpillars on pussytoes in my front garden.
Those are American lady caterpillars. AKA Vanessa virginiensis. Found some on my pussytoes this week while I was planting more pussytoes. First time I've ever had the caterpillars. Planted the original pussytoes in 2012 so it took a little while for them to find me.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Clark View Post
Those are American lady caterpillars. AKA Vanessa virginiensis. Found some on my pussytoes this week while I was planting more pussytoes. First time I've ever had the caterpillars. Planted the original pussytoes in 2012 so it took a little while for them to find me.
Yes, that's what I meant of course. I only had this patch of pussytoes in the garden since last year.

As for my monarchs, several have formed chrysalises and unfortunately some of those fell victim to tachnid flies. I found those as pretty large caterpillars already, so the fly must have laid eggs while they were still on the milkweed. Hopefully at least some will make it. I still have several others that I collected as eggs (and I keep them all pretty well separated in case some have parasites/disease) so I'm confident those will be fine.
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:01 PM   #8
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No monarchs here this year at all, despite the fact that my milkweed is now trying to take over my whole garden. Way fewer milkweed bugs and milkweed beetles, too, but the bees came from everywhere for the milkweed flowers.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:40 AM   #9
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I still haven't found any monarch caterpillars, but I think there is still time. This year, several of the common milkweed that (finally) volunteered in the yard are blooming. I have also added more from collected seed...and purchased a flat of 50 plugs of A. tuberosa to add to what I already have.

I've had a bumper crop of monarch caterpillars!-20170710_082811.jpg

I can't find the pictures that I took of the caterpillars on my pussytoes, but I did find a picture of those I seeded over the winter.

Things are coming together here. I hope, soon, to be able to post about hosting many monarch caterpillars as you have. Keep up the great work.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:33 PM   #10
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And I've a bumper crop of green sawfly larvae eating up my militaris.
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