Monarch Butterfly Update – Day 17

I have not updated our monarch caterpillar in quite some time. I have been posting pictures daily to the my Flickr set, but I just have not had to time write.

Here is quick update. We are now on day 17. This guy is getting huge. I will post the latest picture this afternoon in the Flick set(see below)

They are now to the point where they are eating 2-3 leaves. I mean the entire leaf with nothing left. Any day they will form the chrysalis. My son already had his monarch form the chrysalis. What is quite weird and I hope that I don’t miss out on this process while at school is that the chrysalis is under their skin. GROSS! They shed their skin and then BOOM it is underneath. This just blows my mind. I hope to capture this process and show it here on the blog. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the slideshow and watch how big he has grown. Hard to believe he was smaller than my fingertip two weeks ago.

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Monarch Caterpillar Days 3 & 4

Well, our caterpillars(we have 3) are not real active yet. We don’t seem to see them do much of anything, but when we wake up in the morning the leaves are starting to be consumed more and more. I believe that Aiden and Addy have hungrier caterpillars than mine. I need to take some pictures of theirs to document their growth as well.

Monday(Day 3) we noticed that they had indeed become slightly larger. It is noticeable.

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This photo was taken in the morning. Some of leaf had been consumed, but not as much as I expected. Not that I have any prior knowledge to draw on, but I thought they would eat more, but in reality those holes are bigger than the body of the caterpillar so that is impressive.

Here are a few photos from Tuesday(Day 4). I could once again tell this little guy is growing every single day.

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I think today was very clear that he has grown since Saturday. Hard to believe how quickly they grow.

Here a few facts about the monarch caterpillar/butterfly.

  • They only eat milkweed. They will starve to death before eating anything else. Nature is crazy.
  • When this guy gets bigger(over 1 inch) he will eat two leaves a day! Insane hunger pains this guy must have.
I will be back again tomorrow with updated photos and a few more facts. Thanks for checking things out.
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The Journey of a Monarch Butterfly: Day 1 and 2

Saturday morning, Aiden and I headed to the Putnam Museum for a cool presentation about Monarch Butterflies. We were able to see some amazing butterflies and learned quite a bit. I think I learned more than Aiden as he already knows a ton about butterflies.

I thought it would be cool to document the life cycle of our Monarch Butterflies. Aiden, Addy, and myself each took home a caterpillar. I have my own that I will taking care of along the way.

As of right now the caterpillar is quite small. We brought them home in these tiny little containers. Yes, those little black dots are poop. All these little buggers do is eat and poop. You can see the holes in the milkweed from their nonstop eating.

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I transferred mine to a larger jar. Here you can see how small the little bugger is in the photo below. This image below was magnified. We are talking a centimeter or so in length.

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Today, Sunday, August 26th, marks day 2 of our journey documentation. Notice how much more of the leaf has been consumed compared to the pictures above. Also, a ton more poop balls.

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I then had to transfer in some fresh milkweed. We have plenty of milkweed leaves and we store them in the fridge to keep them fresh. Crazy to think that in about a week or so this guy will be eating two leaves a day! 
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Tomorrow I document more. I tested out streaming video online of the caterpillar while away at school so classrooms can check it out. I will try to get that setup before I leave tomorrow morning. Hopefully this helps out some elementary classrooms. I know Aiden will get a kick out of this documentation.

I will be sharing some facts this week as well. Crazy stuff!

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