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Old 08-22-2019, 09:39 PM   #61
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


After they emerge from the chrysalis, you can notice that their abdomen is relatively quite large. This is because of fluid that they pump into their wings to form them out. There is usually excess which they will 'pee' out once or twice. Once their wings are formed out, they have to dry and stiffen. If they fall off their chrysalis before the wings form out, they won't and they won't be able to fly. If they fall after the wings are fully formed out they are usually fine.
In addition to needing their wings to dry, the butterfly lacks energy and need to solar 'power up'. We've had them take several hours depending on the weather and have even kept them overnight. They can go a couple of days without eating. Even if they do take off right away, they usually just go up into a tree and hang out.


A few weeks ago our daughter came across a small isolated patch of milkweeds along a wall at her work that had obviously been a favourite nursery for at least a couple of females. It was covered in caterpillars and the plants were eaten down to the stalks. They were even eating the seed pods, which I had never heard of. I don't know if they have nutritional value or the caterpillars were desperate. She rescued over 30 caterpillars. Some died but between this rescue and her regular collection, the past two days she has released over 45 butterflies and isn't done yet.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:39 AM   #62
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
After they emerge from the chrysalis, you can notice that their abdomen is relatively quite large. This is because of fluid that they pump into their wings to form them out. There is usually excess which they will 'pee' out once or twice. Once their wings are formed out, they have to dry and stiffen. If they fall off their chrysalis before the wings form out, they won't and they won't be able to fly. If they fall after the wings are fully formed out they are usually fine.
In addition to needing their wings to dry, the butterfly lacks energy and need to solar 'power up'. We've had them take several hours depending on the weather and have even kept them overnight. They can go a couple of days without eating. Even if they do take off right away, they usually just go up into a tree and hang out.


A few weeks ago our daughter came across a small isolated patch of milkweeds along a wall at her work that had obviously been a favourite nursery for at least a couple of females. It was covered in caterpillars and the plants were eaten down to the stalks. They were even eating the seed pods, which I had never heard of. I don't know if they have nutritional value or the caterpillars were desperate. She rescued over 30 caterpillars. Some died but between this rescue and her regular collection, the past two days she has released over 45 butterflies and isn't done yet.
That's little short of near-miraculous, actually. Monarchs are full of parasites, which bedeviled the ones my brother and I used to catch 50 years ago. If they get hungry, they'll eat the pods, too, thought it's a last resort.

Good on your daughter!
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:21 AM   #63
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Says here that all the monarchs we have seen up here are due to ideal conditions in Texas this year.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottaw...tion-1.5277122
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:51 PM   #64
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Beautiful photos and fascinating stories. Iím impressed with the Monarch nurseries you all have. Sadly I wasnít successful with Monarchs.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:02 PM   #65
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


New research shows that taking monarch caterpillars inside, affects them negatively. They only produce females and do not migrate normally.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:09 PM   #66
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


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Beautiful photos and fascinating stories. Iím impressed with the Monarch nurseries you all have. Sadly I wasnít successful with Monarchs.
Keep trying!
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:04 AM   #67
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


Had dropped my wife off for her hair appointment and parked in front of that shop. Spotted a small patch of milkweed in a flower bed and all that was left were a fer partially eaten leaves. I didn't inspect it but didn't see any monarchs, suspect they were already gone. Several news articles saying it has been a bumper crop this year.

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Old 09-11-2019, 07:31 AM   #68
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Re: Monarch Butterflies.


until this year I’ve grown fennel which is a host plant to swallowtails. These posts are the first ones I’ve heard of where others notice butterfly eggs. My swallowtails just skim over the plant, hovering for seconds and days later I will see the eggs, like little pearls.

I have to stand vigilance or my cardinals eat them. I cover with netting an still the cardinals chew on caterpillars that crawl to tip of stems next to netting.

I cut stems with cocoons an put inside porch until they hatch and it’s amazing to watch them emerge and dry. its always early morning and when released they always fly eastward.

Aug and Sept my yards is full of butterflies drifting back and forth. I have a lot of nectar plants for zebra longwing, sulphur, gulf fritillary and swallowtails.
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Last edited by Startingover; 09-11-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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