Plant It and They Will Come #8 Migration 2015

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

We came from here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1403607/

Thumbnail by coleup
annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Journey North has maps and reports from all over the continent of Monarch Migration sightings.
See thieir current map here and click on any of the dots to read the reports under Pre Migration, PEAK Migration and Fall Roosts from now thru November.
Maps:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/Maps.html
Current Peak Migration Map:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/monarch_peak_fall2015.html

And a report from Cockeysville MD from Pam who has been hand raising all summer!

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/sightings/query_result.html?record_id=1442192703

Pam started Maryland Monarch Conservation. org in June. Great summary of Raising Monarchs! Check out the pics of the new hatchling eating its egg shell!

marylandmonarchconservation.org

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I just found this little guy on a Swamp Milkweed, but I suspect it is NOT a Monarch Butterfly caterpillar. Anyone recognize him/her?

Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Judy--
If it matters---I thought this group of Monarchs looked a bit juvenile to me--
like not really the full adult size, but they were all the same size.

Does this help? G.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Interesting links, coleup; thanks!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Muddy, maybe it is a tussock moth caterpillar?

Great links, Coleup. 500+ Monarchs reared and released by a single person-- wow!

Interesting that the maps shows a peak in our area this week--my last Monarch eclosed today and flew off--just in time to join his siblings on the migratory flight!

Two chrysalises that didn't make it--they darkened and it appeared there was a butterfly inside, but they never emerged, and the chrysalis just sort of stayed dark and got a little withered. :-( not sure what would cause this. Two caterpillars that died along the way.

So for me a modest total of 16 Monarchs released--and one little cat munching away right now, along with several tiny BST cats I've found in the last few days.

well, we all do what we can!!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Just think of the ones you probably saved, CatMint!

I've got about 10 BST cats in my rearing cage now, I think, almost all of them from the dill plant where I saw a butterfly laying eggs.

I think you're right; it's probably a Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita,
-male Monarchs are smaller than females
-if the milkweed supply is limiyed or of poor quality, butterflies will be smaller
-first eggs laid by female out of the 250 - 600 lifetime tend to yield smaller butterflies
-environmental factors like high heat or unseasonal cold also effect development
-migrating Monarchs have different wing size and color from breeding gens

What time of day did you see this group?

Muddy, Tussock moth cats feed in groups...where there is one, rhere are more as eggs are laid in batches

This message was edited Sep 18, 2015 8:50 AM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Not sure of the time...gonna guess....mid-afternoon???

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

HELP

Catmint, Muddy and Sally I need some Aunties to finish raising some 2nd and third instar Monarch babies as I am out of town for next ten days. Can each of you do 15 - 20 ? Or, let me know how many you can do and I'll bring them to the swap tomorrow. Remember, they will soon be milkweed eating machines!

Sally, I will need both of my pop up hhabitats tomorrow am. Can you set them out on your porch?
How many do you have 'for sale'?

Gita, now would be the time I most need swamp milkweed leaves. If you have and unsprated good looking ones could you pluck them and stick them in a baggie and bring down to Sally's tomorrow am?

Thanks one and all.

They should all by chrysalides by the time I return

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

thanks, Muddy! :-)
wow, 10 BST cats is a lot!
I think I have 4 or 5 of them right now.
I wonder if these ones are going to end up overwintering?

Coleup, I responded on the other thread--yes, I'll take some of your Monarch babies! My one little guy could use some company right now--I think he feels lonely and outnumbered by the BST cats.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I hope these BST don't overwinter because I'd like to see them sooner rather than later, but they might.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I agree, Muddy!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Great to see everyone yesterday!

Coleup's Monarch cats that I came home with are safely in their own habitat, away from the BSTs. Fed them the extra milkweed last night and this morning everything was munched through, so I gave them the first stem of milkweed leaves from Sally--they seem to be enjoying it! There are already several holes showing in the leaves!

Had a dream last night that I found a tiny BST egg just as it was hatching. Was trying to bring the new little guy in where it would be safe, and I ended up tripping and falling in the kitchen and couldn't find him again! :-( So glad to wake up and realize it was just a dream!!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

This morning, I found the remains of a monarch right by the new butterfly bush. Sorry to be morbid, but it looks like each wing was pulled off. There are four wings just lying on the ground. What could have done this? There's no obvious damage to the wings.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

:-(
A smart mantis?

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

That dream was your maternal instinct kicking in, CatMint : - )

Too bad about the Monarch butterfly, ssg. I guess the Mantises have to eat too, much as we hate it, right?

I'm so glad that a neighbor has Asclepias syriaca because the Monarch cats haven't gone for the A. incarnata I have growing in my yard. They've been happily munching away, and several were crawling up the sides of the tent this evening...time to molt, I assume!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, and today I found 2 eggs on the fennel and was so scared I would live out my dream! :-D Managed to get them safely to the habitat, fortunately...

Sounds like you are enjoying your Monarch cats, Muddy! :-)

Today while I was digging and planting, I found a couple wings from a dark-form tiger swallowtail. :-(

sure wish the mantises would go hang out by the European paper wasps' nest!!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Hey, take a look at this article on butterfly gardening by someone we all know! :-)
http://allthingsplants.com/ideas/view/Catmint20906/2454/Creating-a-Butterfly-Garden/

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Great article(s) (I read some of the other ones you wrote as well : - ))

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

awwww, thanks, Muddy! You're such a sweetie! :-)

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Your article on Solidago got me thinking about some NOID Solidago that made a mysterious appearance in a too-shady area of my backyard this spring. I don't remember sowing seeds for it, and I know I didn't plant it, but it's attractive....when I prop it up, that is, because its natural state is flopped on the ground. If I end up with extra time (ha ha ha!), I'll transplant it to places where it will get sun and the pollinators will find it.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I know how that 'when I have time' list goes, Muddy! :-)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Great article, Catmint! Now you have all of those acorns to spend on raffles. :D

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

thanks, SSG! :-)
LOL--I'm so unlucky in raffles!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Great, informative, link-packed article, Catmint!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks so much, Sally! I wrote it the weekend I found all the Monarch eggs-- every once in a while I feel inspired! :-)

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

While I was picking leaves from my neighbors' Asclepias syriaca this evening, I found this very large caterpillar and brought it home : - )

It must be about ready to form a chrysalis. Is it too big to put in the tent with the cats that coleup gave me? I can't imagine that it would eat them, but I wanted to check.

Thumbnail by Muddy1
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I think if you have plenty of leaves he will eat leaves, I would place him on the other side though. Looks huge and ready to climb and hang very soon.

Coleup found foster parents for all her remaining cats. She sure is dedicated!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

He's not moving very much, but he looks okay. I'll put him on the far side like you said and see what he does.

Auntie Coleup takes great care of her cats, yes she does!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita, your swamp MW seeds are going in the mail to Monarchwatch.org tomorrow

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, Great! Glad i could contribute....
I was not sure Judy would find the baggie in her bags of Stellas.

Can you enlighten me what they plan to do with all the collected seeds?

Thanks--and to whomever---You are welcome! Gita

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Great find, Muddy!
Sounds like good advice, Sally!

Well, time to change the milkweed leaves for my hungry cats from Auntie Coleup. Thanks to Gita for supplying the milkweed, and to Sally for sharing it with me!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita, they grow them. I think they give them to people who apply for help planting a waystation?

http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/milkweed-regions-seed-needs/

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

coleup---

Shoot!!! I did not think of it--but I have a bunch of seeds from last year
of the Tropical Milkweed. I remember picking off all the pods.
Would it matter if they were a year old? I had them available at last year's Seed swap.

Do you think THEY--YOU would like to have them? Let me know--with details of
who to send them to. Gita

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

The monarchs are scarce around here. I have plenty of milkweed and only one monarch hung out for a couple of days. I saw one cat at night for two days but that was it.
What we do have are a lot of black swallowtail cats at the community garden. I didn't take pictures yet. Aren't they late? I didn't get any in my yard this year. They are usually one of the first butterflies if remember correctly.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I have a bunch of BST cats right now too Loretta! I think what happened was that I had a lot of predator insects in my yard for most of the summer, and they kept lapping up eggs almost as soon as they were laid. Now that the air is cooler, the insects have really died down in number, and now I am finding the BST cats and eggs...

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I just read that BST spend the winter as a chrysalis. This could be bad news at the garden because people like to clean out their plots at the end of the season. It also explains why I lost my population because one year I pulled out a large patch of parsley that was taking over the garden. I must have thrown out all the chysalis along with them.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes the BSTs will definitely overwinter, and you are soooo right about the negative impact of 'clean up' in terms of overwintering chrysalises. :-(

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

There is another gardener who loves butterflies and raises some so I will work something out with her so we don't lose our new population.

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