Why would Monarch Cats die before chrysallis?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Jill Staake Jill Staake 9 months ago.

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  • #5274706 Report Abuse

    I have raised Monarch cats successfully other years if they are large when brought in.

    This summer the GKs brought in a Common Milkweed leaf which was hanging over the road, with a large cat on it….it died the next day.  It could have been run over by a car along the road.

    A couple of days ago there was a cat crawling on the bottom door jam of the garage entry door.  I brought it in and it started to chrysallis that afternoon…then died.

    I know for a fact that none of these milkweeds were sprayed for anything.

    I want to do whatever I can to save them or give them a better chance to make it.

    Pat ~ West Central WI

    #5276706 Report Abuse

    Oh, that is so sad, I don’t really know….except for chemicals.

    Hope next year is better,

    Linda Z

    #5276854 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake

    Can you tell us more about what happened? Did they start to go to chrysalis and then not finish? Did they die before they got to that stage?

    There are many reasons this could be happening, but a possible culprit is a parasitic spore called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, or OE for short. You can learn more here: http://www.mymonarchguide.com/2007/07/dreaded-oe-spore.html

    There are many other issues, though. Remember that a butterfly can lay up to 800 eggs. If all of those eggs made it to adulthood, the world would be simply overrun with butterflies. So there are a lot of natural causes that can cause death at any time during the life cycle. Of course, pesticides can be a cause too. Without seeing the caterpillar and being able to examine it more closely, it can be really difficult to say.

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

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