I’ve gotten a bit slack on keeping up to date on my caterpillars. So here goes….
On 5.16.11 I had to put in my second Giant Milkweed. I also put in a potted Tropical Milkweed. They look good…don’t they?
I had 2 Giant Milkweeds, 2 potted Tropical Milkweed and I had to dig up 4 more Tropical Milkweed plants..put them in pots and then replant them. Each was only in the cage for a day or two.
I have around 65 in Chrysalis. 11 emerged today. You can see 3 of them are very clear. You can see the color of the wings. These were among the first ones. If you look closely at the green ones you can start to see some wing outlines. They will be among the next batch…possibly tomorrow.
You can see some of the stages they go through. The one at the top has just emerged…it’s wings are much shorter. It hasn’t pumped the fluid from it’s body into them yet. There are 3 that are drying out and one near the lower L that is sort of in between.
But once the fluid has been pumped into the wings they fall into place.
There are 2 hanging side by side. The dark one has just emerged….It’s wings are still folded and damp.
At one point in the video you will see 5 butterflies that have emerged, and by looking closely you can see the difference in their wings. If you watch the first one you see emerge, very closely, you can see it flexing it’s abdomen to pump the fluid into the wings.
They did not all go into Chrysalis at the same time….but once they started emerging , all 11 were out within half an hour.
I had about 100 caterpillars when I started out. I only have 65 Chrysalis. I gave my friend, Debbie, 21 caterpillars and most of them are in Chrysalis. 3 Chrysalis failed, 2 caterpillars drowned, 1 in a “J” fell. That accounts for 92. I don’t know where the others went. They may have been eaten by a larger caterpillar.
I had placed 12 on one of the Giant Milkweeds when it was outside. At the time I brought it in…there were none. I quit bringing them in after 100 figuring the rest could make it outside. I only saw one large caterpillar.
I am going to release a few here, a few at Debbie’s, and the rest at another neighbor’s who has Milkweed plants. That will take care of those that emerged today.