This year has been a banner year. They are amazing. I have thousands of caterpillars, I'm sure.
According to Rebecca Whitman, of RVCA:
"These fantastic insects migrate up to 3,000 kilometres between breeding grounds in North America and overwintering sites in Mexico. Most adults live only four to five weeks, but those who metamorphose into butterflies in the fall can live for seven to eight months. It is those who take to the skies and head to Mexico. "

We had a massive rain. The larger cat disappeared. This was 3:39 p.m., after the storm.

July 23 MORE monarchs and a photobomb

Thursday, July 19th

Down in the meadow, two on one plant. The second instar, at least.

July 16

They hatched!


July 14 

Friday, July 13th

The eggs tend to be on the underside of the leaf, but not always.

Annabelle and I watched this one laying eggs. I checked. Sure enough! It just takes a moment. We're doing Gramma Camp this week, so my grandies can watch them!

Monarch 2 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

July 5

Life Cycle

They spend 3 - 5 days as an egg. (It all depends upon temperature!)
Then, 11 - 18 days as larva (caterpillar).
Next, 8 - 14 days as a chrysalis. (Journey North provides this information.
It's hard to find an accurate source on the great garbage dump in cyberspace.
This is an archive photo. The Port Carling library hosted monarch chrysalis to release. I know this a way down the line for us, but what a process.

The annual cycle of Monarchs
The butterflies have been amazing. We have a lot of Monarchs, as well as Swallowtails, Eastern Commas, fritillaries. The annual cycle of Monarchs continues from their first breeding in March in the south, the adult migrate north, breed again, and again, until they make it to their northernmost breeding ground, just north of us. Finally, they do the reverse, with the last life cycle taking place in August - November in the south of North America. There are four generations each annual cycle that migrate north and south, until their winter habitat in Mexico.

migration: north and south

Here in south eastern Ontario, we are about 250 km south of their northern habitat. They require milkweed as a host for the eggs and caterpillars. We have plenty of those in Ontario! For their migration, they require pollen from any flowers, not only milkweed.

No comments: