Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Average Is Down a Bit

This A.M., I checked my outdoor pavillion and found the following.  Three caterpillars had attempted to pupate.  Two made it and one failed.  (Yes, Tachinid Fly strikes again.  See photo below.)  I've enclosed a photo so that you teachers, parents and students can see what the caterpillar looks like if its been infested with the fly larvae.  Additionally, I found two other smaller dead caterpillars.  One was in a pot, and the other was in the bottom of the pavillion.  I'm unsure what caused their demise.  Hopefully, it is not disease.  I quickly removed all dead caterpillars.

The two caterpillars that successfully pupated did so on the underside of Milkweed leaves.  The leaves look good and strong, so I will leave them for now.  If the leaves start to die or look like they will detach from the plant, I will relocate the chrysalises to another location.

Inside my house, I suddenly developed a problem with flies last night.  Some of them may be the predatory flies that are killing my babies, so I am desperately trying to get rid of all of them so I can bring my Milkweed plants inside and examine them.

Several other caterpillars are searching for a place to pupate.  I'll keep you updated on their progress.  (See photos below.)  Our current average is just below 50% success rate.  Hopefully, we can get that back up soon.

Happy Monarching,

Caleb & Janae Warren

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