It appears that this may be a good year for monarchs in the Northeast, as with very little looking, you can find their eggs as well as young monarch caterpillars. Look on the underside of the top leaf or two on young milkweed plants – these leaves are tender and monarchs often lay their tiny, ribbed eggs there (usually one per plant) as they (leaves) are ideal food for young larvae. The first meal a monarch larva eats is its egg shell. It then moves on to nearby milkweed leaf hairs, and then the leaf itself. Often the first holes it chews are U-shaped, which are thought to help prevent sticky sap (which can glue a monarch caterpillar’s mandibles shut) from pouring into the section of leaf being eaten.
July 20, 2012 | Categories: Adaptations, Arthropods, Caterpillars, Insect Eggs, Insect Signs, Insects, Invertebrates, July, Larvae, Lepidoptera, Metamorphosis | Tags: Asclepias syriaca, Common Milkweed, Danaus plexippus, Insect Diets, Insect Eggs, insects, Lepidoptera, Metamorphosis, Monarch Butterfly | 4 Comments