The Monarch is definitely the most amazing (and beautiful) butterfly in North America. They are very easy to raise, so, we did. All you need is:
- A non-air tight container with holes in top to make sure that the caterpillars have plenty of air.
- A poop catcher (I used a sheet of paper, you really need this because they poop a whole lot).
- Milkweed (the caterpillars will only eat plants that are in this family).
- Something for them to pupate on, such as a twig or they may rather use the lid of the container.
I went into a field to catch Monarchs to tag, but instead I found something better, a huge Monarch caterpillar! I plucked him and his plant, and I went out to see if I could find any more. This I did and succeeded, I found about 6.
I took them inside and put them in my container with the poop-catcher (paper) in the bottom. I provided them with fresh milkweed when needed. They munched and munched and grew and grew until most of them were huge. However only one of them lived, the lone survivor.
Welp, our caterpillar grew to pupation point, and this he did. He hung from a pair of claspers at the end of his body (ours chose the ceiling to hang from) and turned green and wrinkly (He had not fully developed his cocoon just yet). We found the shriveled skin underneath the cocoon.
Here it is fully devoloped.
Finally it went from this...
all the way to this!!!
You could actually see the wings and abdomen developing inside of that tiny little chrysalis.
The very morning after it turned blue, we all of the sudden found this! We tagged and released our little lone survivor, and as soon as he was out of our hands, he started on his long, hard journey South.
POST BY ETHAN