Raising Monarch Butterflies Indoors
My first batch of monarchs may be historically late, but most are thriving as they approach butterhood. Here are some of the highlights through mid-July.
- 24 of 25 monarchs have survived to this point- they range from chrysalis down to instar 2 caterpillar
- 1 of 2 caterpillars survived being brought in from outdoors. One is a healthy chrysalis, the other was the victim of the dreaded tachinid fly. (More on this in my next post)
- 2 of 2 American lady caterpillars are thriving on their pearly everlasting. One has pupated, and the other took a brief day-trip up a milkweed cutting to say “howdy neighbor!”
- I’m happy the American ladies (Vanessa virginiensis) are finally too large to shut themselves in an inglorious ‘safe house’ made of frass (poop) and silk…gross!
- Common milkweed cuttings proved to be a better option for feeding caterpillars than I previously believed…they work best for early monarch generations
- Using pearly everlasting cuttings is my preference for raising American painted lady butterflies. This process couldn’t have been easier.
- As I’m writing this, a monarch female just fluttered by the window. Looks like the season may be gaining some momentum!
The introduction of new Minnesota butterflies is close at hand. Are you raising butterflies this summer? Please share your experience in the comments below.