Raising Monarch Caterpillars: A Video Diary

by Karen Joslin April 03, 2020

ic: Young Monarch caterpillar on milkweed in my front yard

This March was exceptionally warm here in north Florida, with temperatures more like early May. So the milkweed started growing and the butterflies came out, including the Monarchs. 

I'm always happy to find Monarchs in my garden. And when there's enough milkweed for the caterpillars to eat, I leave them to their druthers.

This early in the season, though, they definitely wouldn't make it to adulthood without help. 

Raising Monarchs also makes sheltering at home more fun.

So without further ado, here's a video diary of my first week raising this batch of caterpillars.  

By the way, these caterpillars have been the easiest-going Monarchs I've ever raised.

Usually Monarchs tend to be aggressive, picking fights with each other and not tolerating others encroaching on their personal space. This time around, I only saw one fight.

They also hung around in pairs quite close to each other fairly often, even occasionally feeding from the same leaf at the same time. 

When it comes time for Monarchs to pick a spot to make their chrysalis, they usually spend at least a couple of hours crawling incessantly around the habitat looking for the perfect place.

Not these guys. All four chose their spots quickly and with no fuss.

(That happened yesterday, so it's not in this video. If I get enough footage of their transformations, there will be a part two.)

And you know that teeny newbie at the end of the video? Well, this morning I found two more!

I just hope the first batch hatches quickly so I can clean the habitat before Round Two gets too big. 

Want to help out Monarchs, too? Check out Five Easy Ways to Help Save Monarch Butterflies.

© 2020 Karen Joslin



Karen Joslin
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