I started noticing tiny Queen caterpillars on my milkweed. By the time I finished gathering them I had almost 50.
I fed them on the Tropical Milkweed for a few days. Once they started to get some size I brought in my Giant Milkweed.
The plants were so tall I took cuttings and put them in rooting compound to start new ones. I let the caterpillars eat the leaves.
I took these on 9.30.14
The 3 pots in the bottom of the photo above are the cuttings. You can see the caterpillars have already munched out a few spots.
5 on just this one leaf.
Caterpillars of this size don’t take but a couple of days to clean up a plant this big.
Yesterday I moved them all to some Tropical Milkweed to finish up on. I didn’t want to ruin the Giant Milkweed. That one plant has been feeding caterpillars for a couple of years.
They should be going to the top any day now.
They have white, yellow and black stripes and an extra set of “feelers”. When they wilt and hang straight down they are usually about to pupate.
I thought this “J” was beautiful…probably green from the plants reflecting on it. 4 of them went to the top yesterday.
It will keep shrugging until the skin is at the top then it twists around till it throws it off.
I’ve watched this hundreds of times and I still find it hard to believe a butterfly comes from the green jelly like thing.
You can see this same chrysalis in the top of the picture.
This afternoon about 20 have made it to the top or are on their way.
They wander around until they find the perfect spot.
Tomorrow another 15 or 20 will be ready. It is really something to see when they start to emerge. 20 butterflies in one day..it looks like wash hanging out to dry.