On sunny days, we'll have monarchs in Archie's Garden -- sunning themselves on the milkweed, nectaring on flowers, and laying eggs just like it was summer. We have a lot of caterpillars! The milkweed doesn't seem to be able to grow fast enough to keep up with them.
|Dead? Nope, just cold!|
We are still having caterpillars pupate. During this cold weather, the pupae are taking much longer to become butterflies -- we had one emerge yesterday after being in the Butterfly Fort for several months! This also is related to the temperature, we think. The pupae that are in sunny areas become butterflies faster than the ones in the shade.
|This one took its time!|
We're also seeing a larger number of caterpillars who don't pupate successfully, or pupae that are dying. It could be the cold, but there could also be disease. There have recently been a number of caterpillars who died suddenly, with symptoms that match those described on this page, and could be Nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV).