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.
- 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!