Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Monarch Butterfly Has Difficulty Flying

This morning the last two remaining Monarch butterflies in our outdoor pavillion emerged.  They were both males.  We certaining have had plenty of males this season.  I decided to release them both.  One was obviously healthy and strong and took to the skies immediately.  However, the other one appeared weak, and his wings didn't look fully inflated.  They had a slight wavy look to them  I have seen this before.  No doubt what happened was that shortly after he emerged from his chrysalis, he must have fell from his perch.  If you remember, we have had two other Monarchs that fell in this manner, and their wings were so deformed that they couldn't fly.  Fortunately, this butterfly was able to crawl back up to a perched position to finish filling out his wings.  However, the time it took him to do so did affect his wings, so they did not fully inflate and have this slight wavy look to them.  He also appeared weak, so I brought him inside and placed him in my smaller indoor pavillion.  I checked his wings, and they are not stuck together.  Sometimes, that can happen, preventing them from flying.  Tomorrow morning, I will give him some sugar water to strengthen him.  Hopefully, I can release him tomorrow.

(Monarch butterfly with slightly wavy wings, though you can't see it in this picture's angle.  He's having difficulty flying. No doubt his wings were slightly deformed due to an interruption during the drying process.)

We have three Monarchs left to emerge from this second batch.  One of them is hanging from a nail in our Mud Room.  (see photo below.)  Additionally, we have three Queen butterflies that we are looking forward to seeing emerge from their chrysalises.  This will be a first for all of us.

(Monarch chrysalis in our Mud Room. Note the wings are showing through now. It will emerge tomorrow morning.)

There are several eggs on our Milkweed plants that one of our females laid.  So, batch three will be up and running in a few days.  My current operation is much smaller that what I used to do in Georgia, but we are having fun with it.

I first began raising Monarchs in spring 2005.  In a span of three years, I raised 2000 Monarch butterflies.  Then, due to health problems, I was unable to raise any for the next two years.  Man did I miss it.  This Spring, I started again, and as of today, we have successfully raised 17 butterflies so far this year.  Thus, my grand total is currently 2017 Monarch butterflies and counting.  Please feel free to write my with your success stories in raising Monarchs.  I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Monarching!

Caleb & Janae Warren

1 comment:

  1. 2 of my Monarchs have not been able to take off, its been all day since they came out of their chrysalis, how do you give them sugar water?