Helping Monarch Butterflies: How 4 Swamp Milkweed Plants Yielded 15 Caterpillars

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  • Steve's avatar

    I was wondering what those things were we have hundreds near our place maybe thousands

  • Mike's avatar

    @Steve fantastic! They’re critical for the environment and their habitat is shrinking way too fast. The numbers have dropped by almost 90% in the last 25 years.

  • Arica's avatar

    Do the monarch caterpillars stay on the milkweed?

  • Mike's avatar

    @Arica when they get to the size in the photo, you’ll be lucky to see them the next day. They leave the milkweed and like to go around 30-50’ away and form their chrysalis where they can hide from predators. Generally, on a branch under a leaf or something. They hide very well. I remember finding them as a kid and bringing them into our house and putting them in an aquarium until they became butterflies. Then we would release them.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Arica plus, they pretty much devour the whole plant, and have nothing to hang from anyway.

  • Arica's avatar

    @Mike very interesting! I’ll be putting this type of milkweed on my list for next year.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Arica you won’t regret it. My wife is addicted to watching their progress. It’s amazing how they go from 1/4” to 3” in about 5 days.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Arica this is the same plant today

  • Arica's avatar

    @Mike wow

  • David's avatar

    @Mike I used to do the same thing growing up.

  • Tim's avatar

    My dill attracted several this year.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Tim sounds like Eastern Swallowtail have moved in on you, that’s awesome. Their caterpillars look alot like monarchs, but they only have one set of horns and will eat dill, whereas monarchs will only eat milkweed. They’re beautiful also.

  • Dallas's avatar

    @Mike you know way too much about worms. 😆😆

  • Steve's avatar

    @Mike maybe I have something similar, but not the same I’ll try to get a picture of one and post it and see what you think

  • Mike's avatar

    @Dallas that made me laugh out loud, hahaha. Sums up my knowledge base. Little things.. 🤣🤷🏼‍♂️

  • Mike's avatar

    @Steve might be a mix of different butterflies. Queen butterfly and black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars looks similar to monarch caterpillars. All are good, but Monarchs only eat milkweed and are dropping in numbers.

  • Craig's avatar

    I didn’t take a photo but I had milkweeds full of them. My grandkids love looking at them. Thanks for the info about where they go after they get to the proper size and all the swamp

  • Craig's avatar

    Milkweed has been devoured

  • Mike's avatar

    @Craig ours is gone also now. We planted for next year already. Just doing our part and having a little fun along the way 👊

  • Tim's avatar

    @Mike good info!

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Mike's avatar

Mike L

Michigan

Family first Hunter, trapper, fisherman, LEO, firearms instructor, Diver GoWild O.G.

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