monarch development at the Tkaczyk monarch nursery (long post)

Joined
May 1, 2005
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10,567
Location
Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
Just a few images of our attempt to assist monarch butterflies in their development. Their survival rate on their own is about 5%. Fascinating that these eggs and larva represent the 4th generation of monarchs that left their southern climate to reach us here in Thunder Bay. The resulting offspring that emerge in our nursery have a long journey on their own back to Mexico.
Please note that these images were taken with various cameras, cell phone, ipad -depending what was on hand when the event occured. So they are not great images. I thought I would present their fascinating development for those interested:
We had many larva this year on our milkweed plants:

They have voracious appetites, eat continuously and poop, poop, poop,
After having fattened up to a good size they climb and attach themselves - in this case cheese cloth.
They they form a rigid J shape: and spin and spin

They actually do spin to make a crysallis


The resulting chrysalis is a light green colour
Monarch Chrysalis 8060009.jpg
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After about 10 days the chrysalis turns black and you can see the outline of the formed wings and body
Monarch Chrysalis black  8080075.jpg
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Then they struggle to emerge:
Monarch Chrysalis black  8090079.jpg
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Though it takes them hardly any time at all.
Monarch Chrysalis black  8090085.jpg
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Monarch emerging 8080091.jpg
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Then we gently take them out of the nursery to be set free.
Male in hand:
Male Monarch on Nush hand .jpg
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Female:
female monarch crawling on hand.jpg
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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
3,776
Location
Potomac Falls, VA
Well captured stages of their development. Kudos to you all for hosting. My wife has been doing the same for several years. We had our third hatch last night. Waiting for a bit cooler temp later today/tomorrow to release - it is a feel like 100F day here in greater DC area.
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
10,567
Location
Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Well captures stages of their development. Kudos to you all for hosting. My wife has been doing the same for several years. We had our third hatch last night. Waiting for a bit cooler temp later today/tomorrow to release - it is a feel like 100F day here in greater DC area.
Thanks we've released about 10 so far with a couple more in the chrysalis stage yet
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
3,776
Location
Potomac Falls, VA
My wife says this article pertains to butterflies that mated and laid eggs in captivity. Her understanding is the larvae/cateripllaars brought in from outside will migrate as expected after hatching. She did do this year's batch on our outdoor deck due to temperature variance indoor (AC) vs out this year.
 

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