Thursday, August 8, 2013

Finally some more Monarch Eggs!

I checked over the weekend to see if the milkweed that had been cut in the empty lot was regrowing. And sure enough ,it was up about 4-6". I collected 16 eggs!  They've since hatched and are munching away in the hatchery.  I went out again and found 5 more that just hatched yesterday. So I should have some pics in a couple weeks. I'll see if I can happen to catch one morphing into it's chrysalis, or emerging. It's hit or miss to catch those events. They only take a few minutes.
If you want to see if your milkweed has any eggs, look for these.....
Sometimes it's hard to tell the egg from the milkweed sap. The eggs are not as white usually. And if you look at them from the side they are pointed and a teeny bit shiny.

 I used to cut the plant off and put it in water. But that wasted a lot of it because by the time they hatched the leaves were curling up.  Now I just bring in the leaf and lay it on damp paper towel in a plastic container with the lid a bit off for airflow. It keeps the leaves fresh a bit longer. But don't put the lid on tight or they might get moldy. Just before they hatch they will turn black. Then the teeeeeeniest little caterpillar comes out. White with a black head.  He will eat the egg case, then start chewing the leaf. I leave them on that leaf for a couple days, unless it is drying out. Then I transfer them to the hatchery on plants in a vase with screen covering the top. (Or you could use a large jar with screen held by a rubber band on top so they can't escape. Just put wet paper towel around the end of the stem, it will last several days.)
In only a day or two they will show their stripes. It's amazing how fast they grow, and how much they eat!

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