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Old 08-10-2010, 07:59 PM   #131
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I found two of them, after searching the plant for a couple of minutes I finally spotted one then saw a second one when I tried to get a different angle.

The first one was a little over half an inch long, I'd say. The second looked just a little bigger.

Woohoo! Good for you! Looks like that second fat cat is going to eat all the flowers on your butterfly weed. It's hard for me to tell, but both caterpillars are 4-5th instars. Probably a week or more old. They will go on a walk about when they are ready to pupate.

Keep looking! I am sure you will find others and eggs, too!
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:05 PM   #132
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Woohoo! Good for you! Looks like that second fat cat is going to eat all the flowers on your butterfly weed. It's hard for me to tell, but both caterpillars are 4-5th instars. Probably a week or more old. They will go on a walk about when they are ready to pupate.

Keep looking! I am sure you will find others and eggs, too!
YAY! I am so happy to have them!

I know they have to start out really tiny, but they still seem pretty small at a little over half an inch. How many instar stages do they go through?

Believe me; I'll keep looking. I was out there again taking more pictures and a short video. So far, I still only see the two.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #133
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I'm thrilled.

I have to admit that when I went back to take pictures, I couldn't find him (I overlooked both of them--but didn't even realize there were two yet). After searching for a bit, I spotted him again and, later the second one.

I have a feeling Mary (bridget1964) may tell me to bring them inside to raise them. I'm not sure how I'd go about creating an enclosure or if I'd be around enough to make sure they are fed.
LOLOL! I didn't read this post until after I posted! I was gonna tell you to bring it inside, but I figured you'd want to leave them alone. John hollers at me when I want to bring in all the eggs. We have an agreement that I won't harvest any eggs/cats from the yard. I bring in every egg I find in my tiny patio garden. I found five eggs and two caterpillars this evening in my garden. I find eggs almost every day. I also found about 6-8 eggs that were hollow, probably sucked dry by a spida!
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:10 PM   #134
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LOLOL! I didn't read this post until after I posted! I was gonna tell you to bring it inside, but I figured you'd want to leave them alone. John hollers at me when I want to bring in all the eggs. We have an agreement that I won't harvest any eggs/cats from the yard. I bring in every egg I find in my tiny patio garden. I found five eggs and two caterpillars this evening in my garden. I find eggs almost every day. I also found about 6-8 eggs that were hollow, probably sucked dry by a spida!
Some day, I may not mind raising them inside once in a while to watch them up close, but I don't feel prepared for it right now. If I end up losing a lot, I'll be more likely to try to protect them more.

Interesting to me that a spider would suck out the inside of an egg.

I'm glad you and John came up with a compromise.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:18 PM   #135
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Looks like that second fat cat is going to eat all the flowers on your butterfly weed.
Oh, BTW, after eating that one flower, they seem to have moved on to the leaves. ~whew~ (Although, I'd let them eat them all if they had to.)
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #136
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Some day, I may not mind raising them inside once in a while to watch them up close, but I don't feel prepared for it right now. If I end up losing a lot, I'll be more likely to try to protect them more.

Interesting to me that a spider would suck out the inside of an egg.

I'm glad you and John came up with a compromise.
Many critters eat monarch eggs. Spiders and ants love monarch eggs.
Spiders will also eat young caterpillars.

Caterpillars go through five instars. When a monarch hatches from its egg, it is considered a first instar. It will shed its skin after 24 hours to become a second instar. A monarch is a caterpillar anywhere from 7-12 days. When it is a 5th instar, it will find a place where it can hang upside down from its last set of prolegs. The cat will hang in the form of a letter J for up to 24 hours. When the tentacles on its head start to look like they are shriveling up, the skin splits one last time, right behind its head. The beautiful, jade green chrysalis emerges from beneath this last shedding of skin!

Journey North's Monarch Butterfly Migration Tracking Project
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:53 PM   #137
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Many critters eat monarch eggs. Spiders and ants love monarch eggs.
Spiders will also eat young caterpillars.

Caterpillars go through five instars. When a monarch hatches from its egg, it is considered a first instar. It will shed its skin after 24 hours to become a second instar. A monarch is a caterpillar anywhere from 7-12 days. When it is a 5th instar, it will find a place where it can hang upside down from its last set of prolegs. The cat will hang in the form of a letter J for up to 24 hours. When the tentacles on its head start to look like they are shriveling up, the skin splits one last time, right behind its head. The beautiful, jade green chrysalis emerges from beneath this last shedding of skin!

Journey North's Monarch Butterfly Migration Tracking Project

Cool. Thanks for helping to educate me. ~smile~
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:39 AM   #138
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Saw four or five Eastern tiger swallowtails today. They seem to tolerate being photographed more than other butterflies. This was the least worn one, and it had a little more yellow on the outer edge of the wings than most. No females though.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:58 AM   #139
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Very nice tigers there, Swampthing! My favorite is the second photo. I'm not sure how to tell the difference between male/female tiger swallowtails. Can you share that info with us?
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:35 AM   #140
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I went out this morning to check on them, and I swear they doubled in size!

bridget1964, you may not want to look at the 3rd one. It is not really quite as close as it seems.
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