We raised a lot of Monarch caterpillars. Lost a few, but not many. Released at least 240 Monarch Butterflies, and 2 Queens.
This is what it looked like as the first few started to emerge on day 2..you can see at least 3 have emerged…the black ones are the ones that are ready.
Here are what the Monarch Caterpillars look like…and a Queen
They are somewhat similar…but the Queen is even prettier. It has an extra set of “feelers” in the forward portion of its body and as it matures they become a deep maroon. The milkweed is their larval plant also.
The darkest one is a Queen…from the underside it’s looks a lot like a Monarch but you can see the difference if you look closely.
Our first emerging was only 14 butterflies. The next day was over 60.
We moved the cage’s door to an open screen door and let them leave when they wanted to. Many spent a few minutes on the Buddleia plant then flew up into a tree. They don’t seem to need to feed the first day.
After they emerge they hang for a couple of hours to let their wings dry.
We really enjoy watching the Monarchs.