I don’t have a lot of milkweed plants but haven't seen too many Monarchs or Queens around here for awhile.
I checked my plant and found a few caterpillars…
I brought in the few plants that I had and they ate them right up so had to buy a few more.
The plants above are tropical milkweed. They had eaten most of my Giant Milkweed and I put it back outside to regrow.
Here are the 3 in the top circle.
They only take about 8- 9 days to get to this size and boy can they devour a leaf.
Here is a caterpillar in the “J” formation. It usually is like this for around 12 hrs. . You can see its feelers are still pretty firm.
I’ve watched so many that I know the signs when one is going to pupate. This is the same caterpillar that’s in the picture above. Notice how limp the feelers are now. Once it gets like this I start watching for a lot of motion. I think it is pushing down into the bend …that is where the skin splits.
Same caterpillar….skin has split and it is working it to the top.
Here are two chrysalis and one that has just pupated. It is rotating around trying to throw off the skin at the top. It will just keep shrugging till it’s up there.
I have seen them gyrate so much they come loose and fall but most are very securely attached to the screen.
You can use the “search” box at the top of the page to find videos of pupating caterpillars and some of emerging butterflies.
This is a Queen caterpillar. You can see an extra set of feelers on the Queen.
This is a Monarch.
I’ve since bought more plants…and found more caterpillars.