Good questions. The eggs take 4-6 days to hatch. When I find them, I bring them indoors so they do not get eaten or parasitized. Only about 5% of eggs/first instars make it. I gather milkweed for the cats. They go through 5 instars (shedding skin to get larger) and then make their chrysalis. It takes about 10-14 days for the butterfly to "eclose" or emerge. Monarchs that emerge at this time of year would normally be joining the migration to Mexico from my area.Excellent photo, Birgit. How soon will the eggs hatch? Will the resulting butterflies make this year's migration?
I gather the eggs, bring them in house to raise the cats
Took me a while, and a second cup of coffee - - "you feed WHAT to the cats????"gather milkweed for the cats
Hahaha! I should perhaps say caterpillars! But we all shorten to cats. There are different kinds of milkweed...common and swamp grow well here. I've never seen anything but monarchs on the milkweed. Swallowtails like dill, I believe. Lots of swallowtails here. Here is the black form....Took me a while, and a second cup of coffee - - "you feed WHAT to the cats????"
Nice work Birgit, and great photos too. My milkweed has yet to attract Monarchs (not as common up here) but swallowtails, bees and hummers love 'em.