milkweed caterpillars in the Glendon Forest

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milkweed caterpillars in the Glendon Forest

Postby Howieh » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Couldn't get into Ontario Butterflies so I am posting this here: I went for a walk in the Glendon Forest Friday afternoon and, on a whim(?), decided to turn over a new leaf, and guess what?? I actually found two very tiny milkweed caterpillars and one partially eaten eggshell. I also found another caterpillar at the east end of Sunnybrook Hospital grounds, adjacent to the parking lot beside the greenhouse. All the caterpillars were so small I got better views by taking macros with my SX50 and zooming in on the images. Statistically speaking this should be a good sign because I picked plants at random in each location and didn't check many plants because my wife was waiting to be picked up after a medical appt.
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Re: milkweed caterpillars in the Glendon Forest

Postby Walter Fisher » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:55 pm

Great finds Howie! It's shaping up to be a banner year for Monarchs by the looks of things.

My small Common Milkweed patch in the yard has had two female visitors recently. They deposited eggs all over the plants. Now I've got tiny little caterpillars!

First female (June 11th)
Image

Image

Second female (June 14th)
Image

Image

First caterpillar (June 18th)
Image

The caterpillar shot was taken with my cell phone and the second female and egg shots were taken with the wrong settings on my SX50! Oh well, such is life!

Good butterflying,
Walter :)
The things that birders say - "I find that the birds look a lot bigger through binoculars"
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Re: milkweed caterpillars in the Howie meadow

Postby Howieh » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:42 pm

I think the pictures are really nice (A little 'off' colour never hurt anyone!). I've had milkweed on my front lawn for the past few years but this years crop is much bigger and I've seen several female monarchs ovipositing during the past week, but so far I've found only one caterpillar. I wonder if the newly hatched caterpillars are preyed upon by other insects, such as assassin bugs, etc. I'm a bit uncomfortable with the outward appearance of the lawn but there's no way I'm going to mow down the nursery while it's occupied! :)
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Re: milkweed caterpillars in the Glendon Forest

Postby Dr. John » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:29 am

We have had milkweek growing in our downtown yard every year. We usually see Monarchs laying eggs, but have never seen a caterpillar until this year, when we have seen 5. At least 3 have disappeared, so we presume they were predated. One we brought in to give a protected infancy. I'm still hoping I can find the other as it had attained a decent size.
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