2nd Year of the Butterfly Project

Last year we raised some Painted Lady Butterflies.  It was a lot of fun to watch them grow, but this year I never got around to ordering new larva.  And the milkweed I had “planted” (transplanted) into our yard had been weed whacked numerous times so it was tiny, only about a foot tall.

We had a playdate last week with some kids from Porter’s preschool and Deanna (Julianna’s mom) brought their monarch caterpillars they were raising.  She had a simple little screened in cage that she kept them in and said it was easy to find the larva (caterpillars) on the milkweed.  I guess I’d never tried looking!  So, I decided we were going to start raising monarchs.

According to the Monarch Guide,

In the wild, only about two to five caterpillars that hatch from the hundreds of eggs a mama Monarch lays actually make it to adulthood.

Interesting.  So, we are going to become Monarch “foster parents” LOL!  Raising butterflies is so easy!  If you’re interested in raising monarchs, a few websites with great information are:

The Monarch Guide
Learn About Monarchs

And here is what milkweed looks like.  You can find it nearly anywhere… I see a ton of it on the side of the roads/highways.

Right now we have 12 larvae in our cage.  The largest Porter has named Combine.  Like… a combine harvester. Yes, seriously.

Here is Combine on August 5th:
(The largest caterpillar up towards the top of the picture/leaf)

And here is Combine on August 8th:

Amazing how fast they grow!

I think I am just as excited, maybe even more, that the boys with this project.  Its so fun!

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