Thursday, August 4, 2016

First Monarch of the Season

This morning our first monarch emerged from it's chrysalis. This is the one I found on a morning walk. It is amazing! 21 days to go from hatching from a tiny egg to flying off into the world on their own.
All the big kids are up at Park City, so I didn't have anyone to share the miracle with. I tried to share with Natalie, but she's kinda wary of "bugs".
Natalie, this isn't a bug! It's a BUTTERFLY!!! Totally different! But she still ran away.
Oh well, we'll all be back when two more emerge on Sunday, so that will be fun. I came home from Park City yesterday and spent the day here with Owen and Natalie. But we're going to head back up now, so we'll leave Mr. Butterfly out on a tree branch. Good luck with your new life!
I'm still finding monarch eggs.  Right now we've got 2 in the chrysalis, 6 eggs, 2 tiny tiny baby caterpillars, 3 small ones, and 5 that are big and looking like they've survived the larva stage. Four in this picture~
It's a pretty fragile process. I'd say we've had over 30 eggs, about 75% of those hatched, and we've had atleast 10 die in the tiny baby stage, aka 1st "instar". I think 1st instar for us has just had a 50% survival rate. Still, better than the average... some say only 1 or 2 of 100 eggs will make it to an adult butterfly. Another site says out of hundreds of eggs only 3-5, which I guess means we've had a pretty good average for our yard. We're at about 25%, not bad.
(I've been reading up on caterpillars more this time, that image above is from this website) Pretty fun, I like begin a "caterpillar farmer" as Corey has started to call me. But I don't like worrying about them or having them invade my dreams. Guess it's part of the job though.
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