Sunday, August 05, 2007

Monarch caterpillar diary

I had the idea recently to buy a milkweed plant and try to raise a monarch caterpillar. At the arboretum, even though we seem to have monarch butterflies all year long, I rarely see the caterpillars in the summer time. I believe this is because the wasps snatch them up. So I decided to put a milkweed plant in a "pavillion" where it would be protected, and raise a caterpillar in there.


This is an egg that I collected several days ago in the arboretum. Yesterday morning, it had darkened a little inside. I decided to keep checking on it.



An hour later, it had already hatched.





Here I have placed it on the plant, (apparently next to an aphid or something.)


Day 2: The caterpillar has actually grown a bit. Its head doesn't look as oversized now the body is catching up, I suppose. And you can see the beginning of body stripes.
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