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Monarch Butterfly Eggs Hatching

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.

4 responses

  1. Kathy Schillemat

    This is an amazing photograph–Nature provides us with fascination at every turn.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

  2. Sally Sands

    This is a great year for monarchs – my 46th year raising them from eggs found in the wild. My preschool currently has 30 chrysalis in our butterfly house along with 4 larvae. We are still finding eggs. Due to our unusually mild northeast winter, we have concern that the milkweed is about a month ahead in its growing season and already has pods. Hoping that it will remain viable as food for the second generation that will begin their migration in October.

    July 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm

  3. Moira Yip

    As of tonight, I have 21 monarch chrysalises on the back of my house in Western Maine.

    MY

    August 8, 2012 at 12:55 am

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