Who's Seen Monarch Butterflies or Caterpillars This Year?

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by plantdoctorzn4 plantdoctorzn4 5 days, 5 hours ago.

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  • #5278625 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake
    Keymaster

    The latest numbers say that migratory population of Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) has declined by 90% in the last 20 years. (Learn more in this blog post I wrote.) With that staggering number fresh in our minds, I’m wondering who has spotted monarch butterflies or caterpillars in 2014? Tell us where you are and what you’ve seen, and feel free to include photos if you have them. (Need help posting photos? Click here.)

    I’m fortunate enough to see monarchs year-round in Tampa, Florida. Our population doesn’t migrate, and it continues to go strong.



    Jill Staake (florida33girl@gmail.com)
    Birds & Blooms Community Manager
    Tampa, Florida Zone 9b

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by Jill Staake Jill Staake.
    #5278631 Report Abuse
    CatsBirds
    CatsBirds
    Participant

    Hi Jill, very few here this year… I think maybe two or three…we used to have them by the hundreds all summer… I finally caught this guy on a butterfly bush. 



    Sharon, Catsbirds, Community Team Member
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    #5278672 Report Abuse
    Gayle
    Gayle
    Participant

    It a funny thing.  I  have never seen the Butterflys but I have had the cats on my milkweed so obviously they were here somewhere.  LOL  The 1st year I didn’t know what on earth ate all the leaves on my one & only milkweed plant.  The following year I bought some more plants & saw the cats on there which somebody here identified for me so then I knew what happened the previous year.

    This year I saw 2 cats on my milkweed & when I looked for them again they were gone.

    My milkweed has some kind of mildew or fungus this year so that probably has something to do with it.

    This was a couple of years ago

    The two I saw this year were much smaller & disappeared after a day.


    Community Team Member  photo 193363krpfxnjkkm_zpsb1d455d7.gif

    #5278764 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
    Participant

    I have seen the normal amount of Monarchs this year, but I have seen more cats than usual.  They seem to prefer my Native Swamp Milkweed, but I did find 1 on the orange Asclepias.  They Monarchs were later than usual arriving, but I attribute that to our cooler than average June.

    Here is the cat on the orange asclepias

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    #5278908 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    I have 6 chrysalis in my butterfly cage. These cats were munching on my Tropic Milkweed. After placing them in the cage I fed them both Tropic and Common. I have not seen any adults flying yet. But they had to be around to have these cats.  Hopefully these 6 will emerge this week or the next. I plan to do a program with the Kindergarten students. (I also have a “rearing kit” coming from Monarch Watch with some instars the week of Sept 22. These, that  I am watching now were a happy addition. I wish I had ordered tags too.

    Here are some recent photos. When they emerge I will complete my photo cycles more. 

    I live in Eastover North Carolina..near Fayetteville,NC/Raleigh NC

     

     

     

     

     


    #5279684 Report Abuse

    LuMo
    Participant

    I saw my first one today here in Lilburn today. I had a few native butterfly weed plants already. Earlier this year I planted 4 milkweed plants. I had 5 cats on them but only one made it to a butterfly. I hope by adding more host plants that I would make my garden a stop off for more butterflies on their journey.


    #5279704 Report Abuse
    margba
    margba
    Participant

    I saw one or 2 up here where I recently moved in Elizabethtown, PA. Have seen a lot of swallowtails, though!  I think if I had nice bf bushes, I’d surely see more!  Was just thinking there must be fewer monarchs this summer!  Maybe the weather?


    #5279729 Report Abuse

    Capectc
    Participant

    Living in Cape Coral Fl, we have them year round, although this Summer there have been more than ever. I have not seen any cats, but the adults seem to like my fire bush.  My back yard is very sheltered with trees and bushes and only a minimal amount of flowers at this time of year.  I will get some milkweed plants.


    #5279756 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    The world has three new Monarch butterflies today. All Females. They emerged from their chrysalis this afternoon. I still am watching for three more to emerge. Two look like they are about ready. I can see the dark lines of their wings through the chrysalis now.



    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by SandraRW SandraRW.
    #5279759 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    Here is the chrysalis that you can see the wings are formed



    #5280094 Report Abuse
    labrat_
    labrat_
    Participant

    It’s been an exciting summer here, with butterflies returning after a 2-year absence!  Prior years I’ve raised 20-30 Monarchs, but 2012 saw only a couple (and no caterpillars), then last summer, none.  I was so happy when they started showing up about a month ago :)

    This was one of the first eggs I found, so far have collected 12, with 10 hatching into healthy caterpillars … left more in the garden so as not to overcrowd my butterfly house

    One of the newborns, about 5 hours old, almost the size of a pencil eraser

    A good way to find new caterpillars in the garden is to look for a small circular hole in the milkweed leaf.  The newborns seem to always chew in that circle first (after eating their eggshell) before growing a bit and moving around the leaf.

    Posting this now, before it disappears on me like it’s done 3 times already, lol!

     

     

     

     


    ____________May all your weeds be wildflowers.____________

    #5280380 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake
    Keymaster

    I am so thrilled to hear everyone’s reports! labrat, your photos are terrific! Love that one with the pencil eraser for size comparison. (If you’re having problems with the site regularly, like with posts disappearing, drop me an email so we can look into it, OK?)


    Jill Staake (florida33girl@gmail.com)
    Birds & Blooms Community Manager
    Tampa, Florida Zone 9b

    #5280614 Report Abuse
    SandraRW
    SandraRW
    Participant

    My Last three Monarch emerged yesterday morning. Two females and one male. The last one… I videotaped the emerge and here she is. Hope this links right, if not here is the  link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkimKG0bMJI&feature=em-upload_owner#action=share

    I saw one in the yard this morning and wondered if it was one of my “babies” or a new arrival.


    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by SandraRW SandraRW.
    #5280864 Report Abuse
    narnian
    narnian
    Participant

    I have seen 3 caterpillars , but can’t find them now, perhaps they crawled away to become a chyrsalis? I only saw one or two butterflies.


    #5280947 Report Abuse
    Victoria
    Victoria
    Participant

    I live in South Miami FL & I have monarchs year round.  I have a chrysalis on my fence that will hatch soon.  Sometimes I will have 8-10 hanging on the fence at one time.  It is such a mission to keep them around. The cats strip the milkweed plants & when they hatch they have no blooms to feed on.  I run out & buy more milkweed only to have it stripped completely in 2 days.  I baby the milkweed plants (sticks) and they do grow back.  As soon as they grow their leaves they’re stripped again. I guess I need to plant a HUGE garden of milkweed. :)   I have to watch my dogs because they have stepped on them when newly hatched. :(    Like I said it is a mission but I will continue to help the monarch population. :)


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