- Begin Journal -
I begin this journal today with great expectations, as I have found 12 Monarch
Butterfly eggs. (Danaus plexippus) I also located 4 living Monarch caterpillars
(1 4th instar, 3 2nd & 3rd instar) I wonder how long it will take them to grow.
The hunt went well today, and I managed to locate more eggs. Some of the ones I found
yesterday have hatched. Of the Monarchs I now have 8 caterpillars ranging from 1st through
3rd instar, and 4 that are either 4th or 5th instar. I also have 22 eggs.
Another good day today. I now have 15 caterpillars of 1st-3rd instar, 4 that are 4th-5th
instar, and a whopping total of 45 eggs! I am now having to collect 1 whole stalk of
milkweed every day in order to keep them fed.
Those eggs are starting to hatch with a vigor now. I now have 29 that are between 1st and
3rd instar. I found another 4th instar caterpillar today, so now I have 5 that are 4th and
5th instar. I think the largest of them is getting ready to pupate. I now have 51 eggs.
A tradgedy has befallen one of my 4th instar caterpillars. It seems that it has turned
brown and gooey (best way I can describe it). I believe it to be dead. On the good
side however, I now have 1 making it's chrysylis. I have 43 caterpillars of the 1st-3rd,
3 of the 4th & 5th, and 32 eggs. (Didn't seem to find as many today)
I have now come to a junction in my collection, and have decided to make a butterfly house
to keep the adults in. In fact, I will try to catch a few as they nectar on my zinnias.
Perhaps I will get more eggs that way. :)
I don't know what it is, but that brown stuff is spreading to my other 4th & 5th instar
caterpillars. The one making the cocoon has died, and one other has died.
Luckily, the 1st through 3rd instar caterpillars are in a seperate container. I just
hope that the brown stuff doesn't spread. I am also beginning to wonder if I should
just give it up and leave it to the professionals to raise them.
I spent some time on the Inet last night and did some research on the brown stuff. Seems it's
a virus. It's called Nuclear Polyhedrosis. And it is very deadly to the caterpillars.
I think all of the larger caterpillars in the container with the virus are going to meet the same
gory fate. I have written an Email to a college professor to ask about the virus and how to
eradicate it. Hopefully it can be done.
Last Updated: 9-5-96
This page hosted by
Get your own Free Homepage