Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar Dilemma : Part 1

Our property backs onto undeveloped private land. On that border we planted two swan plants but didn't seem to attract Monarch butterflies. A self sown one popped up on the unused land too. This year in what is now autumn the plants have many Monarch caterpillars. Most of them on the one not on our land.

Wasps are known to kill the caterpillars so we have been watching them. Today looking out of our window a man with his son walked passed. The boy must have said he wanted some caterpillars and the father (a rough looking character) ripped off a branch.

We went out to see what he had done and he had taken some caterpillars but also shaken some onto the ground with his aggressive action. We decided to gather them all up and bring them inside as these people regularly pass.

Autumn is cool and the warmer temperature inside the house is agreeing with them. They are eating with gusto but they defecate a lot too. Hopefully we can help most - if not all - turn into butterflies. Here are some pictures just after they arrived. There are now five jars with seventeen specimens, at various stages of growth.

For the next in the series, please click here.

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