24 Monarchs, 2 American Ladies

Raising Monarch Butterflies Indoors

My first batch of monarchs may be historically late, but most are thriving as they approach butterhood. Here are some of the highlights through mid-July.

A Baby Monarch Caterpillar's first meal is it's nutrition-packed egg shell...Raising monarch caterpillars indoors can help boost their survival rate to over 90%. Outdoors, their survival rate is under 5%.
Baby Monarchs Must Earn Their Stripes
    •  24 of 25 monarchs have survived to this point- they range from chrysalis down to instar 2 caterpillar


    • 1 of 2 caterpillars survived being brought in from outdoors. One is a healthy chrysalis, the other was the victim of the dreaded tachinid fly. (More on this in my next post)


    •  2 of 2 American lady caterpillars are thriving on their pearly everlasting. One has pupated, and the other took a brief day-trip up a milkweed cutting to say “howdy neighbor!”


    •  I’m happy the American ladies (Vanessa virginiensis) are finally too large to shut themselves in an inglorious ‘safe house’ made of frass (poop) and silk…gross!


    • Common milkweed cuttings proved to be a better option for feeding caterpillars than I previously believed…they work best for early monarch generations


    • Using pearly everlasting cuttings is my preference for raising American painted lady butterflies. This process couldn’t have been easier.


    • As I’m writing this, a monarch female just fluttered by the window. Looks like the 2013 season may be gaining some momentum!
American Painted Lady larvae love Pearly Everlasting, and can be easily raised indoors on pearly stem cuttings.
American Lady Caterpillar
Are you interested in learning how to raise monarch butterflies with at least a 90% survival rate? Get more info on my raising guide here
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