Category: milkweed butterflies

Releasing butterflies during over a week of ra…

Releasing butterflies during over a week of rainstorms has NOT been easy! Yesterday, the last three of my milkweed babies emerged, two Queens and a Monarch. And I could not release them yesterday.

I was out birding all morning, and by the afternoon they were RESTLESS and I gave them some nectar since they were probably hungry. But the turds couldn’t find the nectar. When the weather cleared up, I took them outside, and two of them wanted to be hand-fed before they would leave me. Great chance to show a side-by-side comparison of the two species!

Ignore the color, focus on the pattern instead. Monarch (top) had black veins on the top wing (forewing), while the Queen has white dots only. The white patches on the Monarch are bordered with black, but have no border on the Queen.

The color and size of each species may vary, but the features I mention above are always the same. The Queen has a very restricted range, so unless you are in or near Texas, you are unlikely to meet a Queen.

September 15, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

The 7 that hatched are all monarchs!

While collecting food for the babies, I also brought in three more eggs. These babies are in the generation that will migrate to Mexico 😀

August 21, 2018

Stripes are in! Look how hungry!

August 22, 2018 (morning)

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EMERGENCY POST!!!
Adorable baby milkweed butterflies are READY TO BE BORN!!!

I am not sure if these are Monarch or Queen butterflies, and it DOESN’T MATTER because BOTH ARE FAT AND STUMPY with good A+ stripes and wiggly bits.

I love watching my butterfly fetuses move around and practice chomping before they hatch 😭

August ¾, 2018 (hey it’s 2 am I don’t know what day to call this!)

Good News!

It’s a Queen! Queens are closely related to monarchs and look very similar, but Queens have 3 pairs of tentacles, while Monarchs have 2:

(Above: Monarch baby, one set of tentacles by the head, the other set by his booty)

I didn’t realize they were born with them! A lot of newborn caterpillars look the same when they are born and I’m used to waiting until the first molt to know for sure.

Never seen a Queen before and have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay! Queens mostly stick to the south (they are not nearly as widespread as Monarchs), so if you haven’t spent much time in the southern edges of the US, you wouldn’t be familiar with them.

Left: Queen (white spots on the top wing!) Right: Monarch (black veins on the top wing!)

I’m excited, I’ve never seen a Queen caterpillar before! But…

Bad News!

The newborn baby milkweed butterflies… are cannibalistic. I thought the eggs on the leaf were far enough away from each other:

I was wrong. This morning, I had the happy little caterpillar you see above and a hole in the leaf where the other egg had been.

This wasn’t a case of “hungry newborn baby eats leaf and accidentally consumes sibling,” this caterpillar went out of her way to murder.

Stat tuned

August 4, 2018

Wait wait never mind he was just lost!!!!

Moar updates

There are a total of four baby Queens, they grew their first stripes, and they are starting their first molt! I can’t wait for their cute little stumpy tentacles to get longer!

August 6, 2018

image

The most precious bab

August 8, 2018

Third instar already?

Look at those tentacly bits 😭

August 9, 2018 (morning)

They grow so fast!

Perfect in every way 💛🖤💛

August 9, 2018 (evening)

Back to the Microscope!

I can’t even handle this 😭

August 10, 2018

Y’all

The microscope pics were from this morning. I’m home from work now

And

They’re all molting again

August 10, 2018

This season’s hottest trend:

Tentacles

Queens are now 4th instar (caterpillars usually pupate after their 5th)

August 11, 2018

SO LARGE after less than 12 hours!!!

August 11, 2018 (night)

Also checkout the gifset of these guys I posted separately! [link]

Good morning!

One of the Queens relocated to the side of the tank and will not move. Usually this is a sign of an upcoming molt. So soon?! They’re so big!

August 12, 2018 (morning)

Good evening!

I didn’t notice the yellow mustache before. They didn’t explode with growth today (or so I think). But they are much easier to kiss now. :X

August 12, 2018 (evening)

Look at their little white socks 😭

Somebody had attached their leaf to the lid of their enclosure with silk, and I rudely detached it when I took it off to feed them this morning. Sorry baby!

August 13, 2018 (morning)

I hope they grow up soon because this Queen Caterpillar Livepost Extravaganza is getting LOOOONG!

Looks like the last molt, unless I counted wrong and I wake up to three chrysalids! Exciting! They got really scrunched up, which I don’t remember from earlier molts. I kinda do want a few more days of caterpillars because they are not quite fat enough for me.

August 13, 2018 (evening)

EMERGENCY

QUEENS ARE DANGLING. I REPEAT. QUEENS ARE DANGLING.

We’re PUATING TONIGHT!!!! (Guess I counted wrong after all!)

August 13, 2018

Today is The Day

They’re gonna do it!!!!

August 14, 2018 (morning)

THEY’RE HERE!!!

I caught two pupating on video, one right after the other (!!!). The gifs are from the video, the photos are about an hour after pupation. They change their shape quite a bit when they harden into a chrysalis!

Will post the video when I have internet, but for now please enjoy these gifs 😭

Sidenote: I’m wearing my moth shirt. I think it’s good luck!

August 14, 2018

Wow this is long

Anyway, FIRST PUPATION VIDEO IS UP!!! [link]

Update: the whole video is also up!!!

August 14, 2018

FRIENDS!!!

I’m so tired and exhausted, all I wanted to do was sleep, UNTIL I checked on the babies one last time.

Guess!!!!!

The wings typically show through the night before the butterfly emerges. 😭

My next round of royalty should be hatching in the next few days (I have a mix of monarch and queen eggs!)

August 21st-ish

Almost here!

The butterfly appears fully formed at this point, you can see through the chrysalis that all the distinct features of the head and antennae have separated from the body. Notice the two gold spots at the bottom of the chrysalis—inside those parts are the butterfly’s eyes.

Only a matter of time! I need to leave for an appointment in a minute, so I guess we both get to go on an adventure! 😀

August 21, 2018

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She started coming out right as my appointment started, so both me and my massage therapist got to watch her emerge. She was much slower than all the other butterflies who POP OUT and you miss it if you blink. My phone ran out of space (oops!), so no photos of the emergence. Good thing I have more of them!!!

Her wings are still soft. I’ll post more photos after I release her, and then that will be the end of *this* thread. There will be more, though!

Thank you all for coming on this journey with me! ❤️😭😘

August 21, 2018

The End

Queen released August 21 / Posted August 22, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

The 7 that hatched are all monarchs!

While collecting food for the babies, I also brought in three more eggs. These babies are in the generation that will migrate to Mexico 😀

August 21, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: I just found …

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturali…

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EMERGENCY POST!!!
Adorable baby milkweed butterflies are READY TO BE BORN!!!

I am not sure if these are Monarch or Queen butterflies, and it DOESN’T MATTER because BOTH ARE FAT AND STUMPY with good A+ stripes and wiggly bits.

I love watching my butterfly fetuses move around and practice chomping before they hatch 😭

August ¾, 2018 (hey it’s 2 am I don’t know what day to call this!)

Good News!

It’s a Queen! Queens are closely related to monarchs and look very similar, but Queens have 3 pairs of tentacles, while Monarchs have 2:

(Above: Monarch baby, one set of tentacles by the head, the other set by his booty)

I didn’t realize they were born with them! A lot of newborn caterpillars look the same when they are born and I’m used to waiting until the first molt to know for sure.

Never seen a Queen before and have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay! Queens mostly stick to the south (they are not nearly as widespread as Monarchs), so if you haven’t spent much time in the southern edges of the US, you wouldn’t be familiar with them.

Left: Queen (white spots on the top wing!) Right: Monarch (black veins on the top wing!)

I’m excited, I’ve never seen a Queen caterpillar before! But…

Bad News!

The newborn baby milkweed butterflies… are cannibalistic. I thought the eggs on the leaf were far enough away from each other:

I was wrong. This morning, I had the happy little caterpillar you see above and a hole in the leaf where the other egg had been.

This wasn’t a case of “hungry newborn baby eats leaf and accidentally consumes sibling,” this caterpillar went out of her way to murder.

Stat tuned

August 4, 2018

Wait wait never mind he was just lost!!!!

Moar updates

There are a total of four baby Queens, they grew their first stripes, and they are starting their first molt! I can’t wait for their cute little stumpy tentacles to get longer!

August 6, 2018

image

The most precious bab

August 8, 2018

Third instar already?

Look at those tentacly bits 😭

August 9, 2018 (morning)

They grow so fast!

Perfect in every way 💛🖤💛

August 9, 2018 (evening)

Back to the Microscope!

I can’t even handle this 😭

August 10, 2018

Y’all

The microscope pics were from this morning. I’m home from work now

And

They’re all molting again

August 10, 2018

This season’s hottest trend:

Tentacles

Queens are now 4th instar (caterpillars usually pupate after their 5th)

August 11, 2018

SO LARGE after less than 12 hours!!!

August 11, 2018 (night)

Also checkout the gifset of these guys I posted separately! [link]

Good morning!

One of the Queens relocated to the side of the tank and will not move. Usually this is a sign of an upcoming molt. So soon?! They’re so big!

August 12, 2018 (morning)

Good evening!

I didn’t notice the yellow mustache before. They didn’t explode with growth today (or so I think). But they are much easier to kiss now. :X

August 12, 2018 (evening)

Look at their little white socks 😭

Somebody had attached their leaf to the lid of their enclosure with silk, and I rudely detached it when I took it off to feed them this morning. Sorry baby!

August 13, 2018 (morning)

I hope they grow up soon because this Queen Caterpillar Livepost Extravaganza is getting LOOOONG!

Looks like the last molt, unless I counted wrong and I wake up to three chrysalids! Exciting! They got really scrunched up, which I don’t remember from earlier molts. I kinda do want a few more days of caterpillars because they are not quite fat enough for me.

August 13, 2018 (evening)

EMERGENCY

QUEENS ARE DANGLING. I REPEAT. QUEENS ARE DANGLING.

We’re PUATING TONIGHT!!!! (Guess I counted wrong after all!)

August 13, 2018

Today is The Day

They’re gonna do it!!!!

August 14, 2018 (morning)

THEY’RE HERE!!!

I caught two pupating on video, one right after the other (!!!). The gifs are from the video, the photos are about an hour after pupation. They change their shape quite a bit when they harden into a chrysalis!

Will post the video when I have internet, but for now please enjoy these gifs 😭

Sidenote: I’m wearing my moth shirt. I think it’s good luck!

August 14, 2018

Wow this is long

Anyway, FIRST PUPATION VIDEO IS UP!!! [link]

Update: the whole video is also up!!!

August 14, 2018

FRIENDS!!!

I’m so tired and exhausted, all I wanted to do was sleep, UNTIL I checked on the babies one last time.

Guess!!!!!

The wings typically show through the night before the butterfly emerges. 😭

My next round of royalty should be hatching in the next few days (I have a mix of monarch and queen eggs!)

August 21st-ish

Almost here!

The butterfly appears fully formed at this point, you can see through the chrysalis that all the distinct features of the head and antennae have separated from the body. Notice the two gold spots at the bottom of the chrysalis—inside those parts are the butterfly’s eyes.

Only a matter of time! I need to leave for an appointment in a minute, so I guess we both get to go on an adventure! 😀

August 21, 2018

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She started coming out right as my appointment started, so both me and my massage therapist got to watch her emerge. She was much slower than all the other butterflies who POP OUT and you miss it if you blink. My phone ran out of space (oops!), so no photos of the emergence. Good thing I have more of them!!!

Her wings are still soft. I’ll post more photos after I release her, and then that will be the end of *this* thread. There will be more, though!

Thank you all for coming on this journey with me! ❤️😭😘

August 21, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

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nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

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nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

EMERGENCY POST!!!
Adorable baby milkweed butterflies are READY TO BE BORN!!!

I am not sure if these are Monarch or Queen butterflies, and it DOESN’T MATTER because BOTH ARE FAT AND STUMPY with good A+ stripes and wiggly bits.

I love watching my butterfly fetuses move around and practice chomping before they hatch 😭

August ¾, 2018 (hey it’s 2 am I don’t know what day to call this!)

Good News!

It’s a Queen! Queens are closely related to monarchs and look very similar, but Queens have 3 pairs of tentacles, while Monarchs have 2:

(Above: Monarch baby, one set of tentacles by the head, the other set by his booty)

I didn’t realize they were born with them! A lot of newborn caterpillars look the same when they are born and I’m used to waiting until the first molt to know for sure.

Never seen a Queen before and have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay! Queens mostly stick to the south (they are not nearly as widespread as Monarchs), so if you haven’t spent much time in the southern edges of the US, you wouldn’t be familiar with them.

Left: Queen (white spots on the top wing!) Right: Monarch (black veins on the top wing!)

I’m excited, I’ve never seen a Queen caterpillar before! But…

Bad News!

The newborn baby milkweed butterflies… are cannibalistic. I thought the eggs on the leaf were far enough away from each other:

I was wrong. This morning, I had the happy little caterpillar you see above and a hole in the leaf where the other egg had been.

This wasn’t a case of “hungry newborn baby eats leaf and accidentally consumes sibling,” this caterpillar went out of her way to murder.

Stat tuned

August 4, 2018

Wait wait never mind he was just lost!!!!

Moar updates

There are a total of four baby Queens, they grew their first stripes, and they are starting their first molt! I can’t wait for their cute little stumpy tentacles to get longer!

August 6, 2018

image

The most precious bab

August 8, 2018

Third instar already?

Look at those tentacly bits 😭

August 9, 2018 (morning)

They grow so fast!

Perfect in every way 💛🖤💛

August 9, 2018 (evening)

Back to the Microscope!

I can’t even handle this 😭

August 10, 2018

Y’all

The microscope pics were from this morning. I’m home from work now

And

They’re all molting again

August 10, 2018

This season’s hottest trend:

Tentacles

Queens are now 4th instar (caterpillars usually pupate after their 5th)

August 11, 2018

SO LARGE after less than 12 hours!!!

August 11, 2018 (night)

Also checkout the gifset of these guys I posted separately! [link]

Good morning!

One of the Queens relocated to the side of the tank and will not move. Usually this is a sign of an upcoming molt. So soon?! They’re so big!

August 12, 2018 (morning)

Good evening!

I didn’t notice the yellow mustache before. They didn’t explode with growth today (or so I think). But they are much easier to kiss now. :X

August 12, 2018 (evening)

Look at their little white socks 😭

Somebody had attached their leaf to the lid of their enclosure with silk, and I rudely detached it when I took it off to feed them this morning. Sorry baby!

August 13, 2018 (morning)

I hope they grow up soon because this Queen Caterpillar Livepost Extravaganza is getting LOOOONG!

Looks like the last molt, unless I counted wrong and I wake up to three chrysalids! Exciting! They got really scrunched up, which I don’t remember from earlier molts. I kinda do want a few more days of caterpillars because they are not quite fat enough for me.

August 13, 2018 (evening)

EMERGENCY

QUEENS ARE DANGLING. I REPEAT. QUEENS ARE DANGLING.

We’re PUATING TONIGHT!!!! (Guess I counted wrong after all!)

August 13, 2018

Today is The Day

They’re gonna do it!!!!

August 14, 2018 (morning)

THEY’RE HERE!!!

I caught two pupating on video, one right after the other (!!!). The gifs are from the video, the photos are about an hour after pupation. They change their shape quite a bit when they harden into a chrysalis!

Will post the video when I have internet, but for now please enjoy these gifs 😭

Sidenote: I’m wearing my moth shirt. I think it’s good luck!

August 14, 2018

Wow this is long

Anyway, FIRST PUPATION VIDEO IS UP!!! [link]

Update: the whole video is also up!!!

August 14, 2018

FRIENDS!!!

I’m so tired and exhausted, all I wanted to do was sleep, UNTIL I checked on the babies one last time.

Guess!!!!!

The wings typically show through the night before the butterfly emerges. 😭

My next round of royalty should be hatching in the next few days (I have a mix of monarch and queen eggs!)

August 21st-ish

Almost here!

The butterfly appears fully formed at this point, you can see through the chrysalis that all the distinct features of the head and antennae have separated from the body. Notice the two gold spots at the bottom of the chrysalis—inside those parts are the butterfly’s eyes.

Only a matter of time! I need to leave for an appointment in a minute, so I guess we both get to go on an adventure! 😀

August 21, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

EMERGENCY POST!!!
Adorable baby milkweed butterflies are READY TO BE BORN!!!

I am not sure if these are Monarch or Queen butterflies, and it DOESN’T MATTER because BOTH ARE FAT AND STUMPY with good A+ stripes and wiggly bits.

I love watching my butterfly fetuses move around and practice chomping before they hatch 😭

August ¾, 2018 (hey it’s 2 am I don’t know what day to call this!)

Good News!

It’s a Queen! Queens are closely related to monarchs and look very similar, but Queens have 3 pairs of tentacles, while Monarchs have 2:

(Above: Monarch baby, one set of tentacles by the head, the other set by his booty)

I didn’t realize they were born with them! A lot of newborn caterpillars look the same when they are born and I’m used to waiting until the first molt to know for sure.

Never seen a Queen before and have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay! Queens mostly stick to the south (they are not nearly as widespread as Monarchs), so if you haven’t spent much time in the southern edges of the US, you wouldn’t be familiar with them.

Left: Queen (white spots on the top wing!) Right: Monarch (black veins on the top wing!)

I’m excited, I’ve never seen a Queen caterpillar before! But…

Bad News!

The newborn baby milkweed butterflies… are cannibalistic. I thought the eggs on the leaf were far enough away from each other:

I was wrong. This morning, I had the happy little caterpillar you see above and a hole in the leaf where the other egg had been.

This wasn’t a case of “hungry newborn baby eats leaf and accidentally consumes sibling,” this caterpillar went out of her way to murder.

Stat tuned

August 4, 2018

Wait wait never mind he was just lost!!!!

Moar updates

There are a total of four baby Queens, they grew their first stripes, and they are starting their first molt! I can’t wait for their cute little stumpy tentacles to get longer!

August 6, 2018

image

The most precious bab

August 8, 2018

Third instar already?

Look at those tentacly bits 😭

August 9, 2018 (morning)

They grow so fast!

Perfect in every way 💛🖤💛

August 9, 2018 (evening)

Back to the Microscope!

I can’t even handle this 😭

August 10, 2018

Y’all

The microscope pics were from this morning. I’m home from work now

And

They’re all molting again

August 10, 2018

This season’s hottest trend:

Tentacles

Queens are now 4th instar (caterpillars usually pupate after their 5th)

August 11, 2018

SO LARGE after less than 12 hours!!!

August 11, 2018 (night)

Also checkout the gifset of these guys I posted separately! [link]

Good morning!

One of the Queens relocated to the side of the tank and will not move. Usually this is a sign of an upcoming molt. So soon?! They’re so big!

August 12, 2018 (morning)

Good evening!

I didn’t notice the yellow mustache before. They didn’t explode with growth today (or so I think). But they are much easier to kiss now. :X

August 12, 2018 (evening)

Look at their little white socks 😭

Somebody had attached their leaf to the lid of their enclosure with silk, and I rudely detached it when I took it off to feed them this morning. Sorry baby!

August 13, 2018 (morning)

I hope they grow up soon because this Queen Caterpillar Livepost Extravaganza is getting LOOOONG!

Looks like the last molt, unless I counted wrong and I wake up to three chrysalids! Exciting! They got really scrunched up, which I don’t remember from earlier molts. I kinda do want a few more days of caterpillars because they are not quite fat enough for me.

August 13, 2018 (evening)

EMERGENCY

QUEENS ARE DANGLING. I REPEAT. QUEENS ARE DANGLING.

We’re PUATING TONIGHT!!!! (Guess I counted wrong after all!)

August 13, 2018

Today is The Day

They’re gonna do it!!!!

August 14, 2018 (morning)

THEY’RE HERE!!!

I caught two pupating on video, one right after the other (!!!). The gifs are from the video, the photos are about an hour after pupation. They change their shape quite a bit when they harden into a chrysalis!

Will post the video when I have internet, but for now please enjoy these gifs 😭

Sidenote: I’m wearing my moth shirt. I think it’s good luck!

August 14, 2018

Wow this is long

Anyway, FIRST PUPATION VIDEO IS UP!!! [link]

Update: the whole video is also up!!!

August 14, 2018

FRIENDS!!!

I’m so tired and exhausted, all I wanted to do was sleep, UNTIL I checked on the babies one last time.

Guess!!!!!

The wings typically show through the night before the butterfly emerges. 😭

My next round of royalty should be hatching in the next few days (I have a mix of monarch and queen eggs!)

August 21st-ish

nanonaturalist: I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN E…

nanonaturalist:

I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!! August 1…

I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018