Raising Monarchs, 2019March 1, 2020

  Note: New pages in this series are listed at the bottom.

For me, 2019 was the year of the monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterfly, because in the late summer, Sue and I took in twenty monarch caterpillars and released eighteen wonderful butterflies, including the female below.

Female monarch ready to take flight
  The Reason Why

In the previous year, 2018, for the first time in the backyard, monarchs laid eggs on the milkweed. Eventually, four caterpillars developed and went walk-about to seek places to make a cocoon. We lost sight of two, but two successfully made a cocoon on the fence. The first of the two was attacked on the day after and drained; the second wasn't viable. In brief, Sue and I had no luck whatsoever in 2018.

We decided that if monarchs should again lay eggs on milkweed here, we'd do better for the butterflies.

The warning: July 21, 2019, was the warning to get ready. I had taken a casual photo of a female monarch, and Sue pointed out (something one can barely see) a tiny, tiny caterpillar on a leaf (seen beneath the monarch's wings).

Monarch alert point
  We started to prepare, and ultimately (during a peak time) we had many monarch caterpillars indoors in a safe mesh cage where they could eat without the danger of predators.
All those monarch caterpillars
  My intention is to have a series of pages on what we found out while being exceedingly new at the task of monarch raising (along with forthcoming links for supplies). In brief, this page is a starting point; more will follow.

Raising Monarchs

My Pennsylvania butterfly page

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