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Old 08-20-2018, 06:09 PM   #31
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We have been seeing more monarchs than usual in our garden this summer. Butterflies and moths in general have higher numbers per species but I think number of species is down unless I am missing some. It was very rainy early in summer but now our corridor has been very dry for over a month. Not a real drought but enough to crack soil and change insect populations. Since the liatris cylindracea/cylindrical blazing star began blooming there have been multiple sightings daily with two or three each time. Sometimes one will land near another and be chased off as another slips in to sip at the nectar. Very exciting.


First picture is of a rather battered older Monarch. Some have fresh and brand new like they just emerged and were drying wings. We have seen many cats but I seldom interfere. The garden has been a successful way station this year.
Liatris, they love, that's for sure! Glad you're meeting with success out there in the Chicago area. Here in Mass we could give you some of the excessive rainfall we've been getting throughout August. I went away to Maine last week and when I returned, there was four inches of rain in a bucket I had left on the deck, and it had already been wet for a week and more. Wettest August in a long time here. Usually, everything is stressed by this time, but this year, tress are ponderous with leaves and none are dropping. The pollinators seem to have liked the wet weather, as well!!!
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:08 AM   #32
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This link will take you to some cool monarch macro pics.

https://tedkinsman.photoshelter.com/...=t&_ACT=search
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:56 PM   #33
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This link will take you to some cool monarch macro pics.

https://tedkinsman.photoshelter.com/...=t&_ACT=search
Wow!
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:40 PM   #34
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Oh wow. Now that guy has quite the talent!
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:28 PM   #35
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Default Good news for milkweed lovers (like monarchs)

https://www.mnn.com/money/green-work...ilkweed-parkas
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:19 PM   #36
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Our swamp milkweeds were loaded with two generations of cats. Some of them stayed on the milkweeds to make their chrysalises, and so we were able to observe the whole cycle. We even managed to catch one butterfly at the moment of emergence. Our 7-year-old daughter was very excited about the whole thing, and it was a treat for us too. We measured the caterpillars to see which instar they were, etc. And then we also got into identifying other caterpillars we found. Lots of different tussock moths this time of year!


Monarchs-hanging-cat.jpg
Monarchs-clear-chrysalis.jpg
Monarchs-new-monarch.jpg
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:37 PM   #37
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Our swamp milkweeds were loaded with two generations of cats. Some of them stayed on the milkweeds to make their chrysalises, and so we were able to observe the whole cycle. We even managed to catch one butterfly at the moment of emergence. Our 7-year-old daughter was very excited about the whole thing, and it was a treat for us too. We measured the caterpillars to see which instar they were, etc. And then we also got into identifying other caterpillars we found. Lots of different tussock moths this time of year!


Attachment 46162
Attachment 46161
Attachment 46163
Awesome photos.

Awesome experience.
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:45 PM   #38
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Lots of different tussock moths this time of year!
If the caterpillar is hairy and eating milkweed, it is most likely a species of tiger moth. Tussocks tend to stick to trees/woody species including pine. There may be a tussock that will eat milkweed but I'm not aware of it.
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:06 PM   #39
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Monarch Joint Venture and Xerces both released recommendations concerning people raising monarchs.

https://monarchjointventure.org/news...why-or-why-not

https://xerces.org/2018/09/11/keep-monarchs-wild/

Both have led to a lot of discussion on the internet. My biggest shock was when I found out I was part of the problem. I was accused of being against the efforts to save the species. And since I don't bleach monarch eggs, I'm dooming the monarch migration. The butterfly breeders have done a good job of getting the sheep to accept that how butterfly breeders raise monarchs is the way to save the migration.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:25 AM   #40
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If the caterpillar is hairy and eating milkweed, it is most likely a species of tiger moth. Tussocks tend to stick to trees/woody species including pine. There may be a tussock that will eat milkweed but I'm not aware of it.

Oh yeah, the tussock moth caterpillars we're finding are in grass, on crabapple trees, on aspen trees, etc.
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