GESO: New Monarch Larvae

Daniel J. Matyola danmatyola at
Sun Aug 2 14:16:09 EDT 2020

This is a small galley displaying some of the new larvae I received
recently from Monarch Watch (scroll down to see the other images):

K-5 IIs, smc FA 100 mm Macro F 2.8
As always, comments and criticisms are invited.

The first image shows one of the four cups in the shipment from Monarch
Watch, each with 4-6 first instar Monarch larvae.  The material in the
bottom of the cup keeps them alive during shipment, and most were partially
buried in that temporary nourishment when I opened the box.  The second and
third images are designed to show the size of the larvae, compared in an
American penny.  My other source for larvae ships eggs and first and second
instar larvae on milkweed leaves, and often the only way I can tell they
are present is by the holes in the leaves.

They do grow rapidly, however, and as they get to the fourth and fifth
instars, it is difficult getting them sufficient milkweed, either potted or
cut from plants growing in my yard.  Over the last 10 days, I have released
more than 20 adults.   Some are reluctant to leave the rearing cage, while
others immediately soar high into the sky.  If possible, I try to release
them onto a milkweed plant or butterfly bush.

For those who might want to read more about the Monarch life cycle, I
recommend  Monarch Watch:

or "The Milkweed Lady," Rose Frankin:

Dan Matyola

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