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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Sep 24, 2016 6:57 PM CST
Hi everyone,

I've just been browsing the forum and I see that lots of people are talking about taking eggs and cats in before they get eaten or harmed. I'm new to all this and it seems like a wonderful idea. When you take them in, what do you do with them?

And how do you ID butterfly eggs? I'd hate to nurture something else and end up having them all over my houseplants or something!

Thanking in advance. And BTW, did you all see my post about the Live Monarch site that gives away milkweed seeds? http://www.livemonarch.com/
AKA Joey.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Sep 25, 2016 7:54 AM CST

Moderator

Joanna, I raise them in GladWare containers and when they're bigger, Critter Keepers from the pet store. As for knowing the eggs, a lot of it is knowing the host plants. If you know what host plants the butterflies lay on, that goes a long way. There are books and websites that have pictures of the eggs, too. It's important to know if the butterfly lays single eggs or groups of eggs, for example. I imagine butterfly season is wrapping up in your area, so I'd suggest following the monthly butterfly thread where we all tend to congregate and talk about our experiences. By spring, you should be ready to go! The thread "September 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Sep 25, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Hi Joanna! Welcome!
I'm so glad to see you're interested in raising the Monarchs indoors for a bit. As Mellie said it's too late in the year now, but there's some things you can do to prepare for next year:

1.) Get some Milkweed seeds of species for your area, that you know haven't been sprayed with herbicides.( I'll send some if you need some)
2.) Winter sow them if you want to give it a try! Start collecting the bottles you'll need this Winter right now.
http://monarchbutterflygarden.net/winter-sowing-milkweed-see...
3.) Go out to Walmart and purchase a couple mesh laundry pop up hampers while they're in stock. The one I bought was approx $9. It's blue
4.) Read up all you can on various sites like Monarch Watch, Xerces Society, Pollinator.org., National Wildlife Federation, Etc. I have links st the bottom of my personal page here at NGA.
5.) Don't worry if you cant find the eggs right away. I always just collected caterpillars as soon as I spotted them.
6.) Feel free to run off a Tree mail to me anytime with questions and I'll do my best, I'm no expert, but I try D'Oh!
7.) Good Luck and happy learning!
~ Cheryl
I forgot to add one important detail: 8.) Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You will. Try anyway.
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
[Last edited by nativeplantlover - Sep 25, 2016 9:30 AM (+)]
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Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Claudia
Sep 25, 2016 5:43 PM CST
I agree with all of the above. I used Gladware containers like Melanie but I also used a larger petfood container I bought at Tractor Supply.

I began by finding cats and bringing them in my first year. The next year I expanded into looking for monarch & Black Swallowtail eggs. I planted Bronze Fennel for the Black Swallowtail to lay eggs on & I had my on food source for them. I have lots of wild milkweed around were I live.

Good luck and hope to see you posting photos next summer!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
[Last edited by Claudia - Sep 25, 2016 5:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Sep 25, 2016 5:47 PM CST

Moderator

I hate when people miss typing the "l" in my name. Rolling on the floor laughing
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Claudia
Sep 25, 2016 5:53 PM CST
Oops! D'Oh!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Sep 25, 2016 6:45 PM CST
Claudia, I love your tag line!

I guess I should mention http://www.livemonarch.com/ here. They give away free milkweed seeds to anyone who wants. You can make a small donation if you like. I did, and then donated 1/2 of my seeds back for giveaways!

Thank you to everyone for all the info. I'll start by looking for and learning to recognize eggs and cats. I have lots of moth cats but haven't found any eggs yet. Can't wait to find something!
AKA Joey.
[Last edited by joannakat - Sep 25, 2016 6:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Sep 25, 2016 7:05 PM CST

Moderator

Moth cats are super fun, too! Of the family Lepidoptera, only about 10% of that is butterflies which means 90% is moths. Plus, many plants are specifically pollinated by moths so we gotta show them some love, too! Hang out with us Joanna, and we'll have you ready to go by spring! Also, I tend to take a lot of egg photos so hopefully that will help. Thumbs up
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Sep 25, 2016 8:37 PM CST
mellielong said:Moth cats are super fun, too! Of the family Lepidoptera, only about 10% of that is butterflies which means 90% is moths. Plus, many plants are specifically pollinated by moths so we gotta show them some love, too! Hang out with us Joanna, and we'll have you ready to go by spring! Also, I tend to take a lot of egg photos so hopefully that will help. Thumbs up


You guys are so great. I'm new to the NGA and you're all making me feel very welcome and at home. Thank you!
AKA Joey.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Sep 25, 2016 8:41 PM CST

Moderator

Welcome! We're a pretty awesome bunch here! Hilarious!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Linda
South East Wi (Zone 5b)
luvmyseeds
Sep 30, 2016 6:50 AM CST
HI, I'm new to this forum and am looking for an answer to a question. I found a Black Swallowtail cat on some celery I had dug up and brought in to dehydrate it. I'm in
Wisconsin and was wondering if this cat will form a chrysalis and stay that way over the winter?
I'm not sure what to do with it. Any suggestions?
Thumb of 2016-09-30/luvmyseeds/daa695

Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Sep 30, 2016 7:19 AM CST
luvmyseeds said:HI, I'm new to this forum and am looking for an answer to a question. I found a Black Swallowtail cat on some celery I had dug up and brought in to dehydrate it. I'm in
Wisconsin and was wondering if this cat will form a chrysalis and stay that way over the winter?
I'm not sure what to do with it. Any suggestions?
Thumb of 2016-09-30/luvmyseeds/daa695



Hi Linda Welcome!
I've run into them late in the year too. If possible, keep it in a safe place OUTSIDE like a screened in porch or a ventilated shed. They are built to withstand the cold temps and bringing it indoors after it pupates wouldn't help it. It'd hatch before the right time and then die.
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Image
nativeplantlover
Sep 30, 2016 7:23 AM CST
luvmyseeds said:HI, I'm new to this forum and am looking for an answer to a question. I found a Black Swallowtail cat on some celery I had dug up and brought in to dehydrate it. I'm in
Wisconsin and was wondering if this cat will form a chrysalis and stay that way over the winter?
I'm not sure what to do with it. Any suggestions?
Thumb of 2016-09-30/luvmyseeds/daa695



Hi Linda Welcome!
I've run into them late in the year too. If possible, keep it in a safe place OUTSIDE like a screened in porch or a ventilated shed. They are built to withstand the cold temps and bringing it indoors after it pupates wouldn't help it. They need the natural humidity from the out-of-doors. It'd hatch before the right time and then die.
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Sep 30, 2016 9:07 AM CST

Moderator

Welcome! Linda! I agree with what Cheryl said. Living in Florida, I don't have to worry quite so much about my overwintering chrysalises. I keep mine indoors, but they still seem to know not to come out until spring.

Oh, that reminds me. I didn't think Black Swallowtail cats ate celery. Do you have parsley, fennel, or dill nearby? I was just wondering if it was still eating or not. It looks big enough to pupate, and my guess from looking at it is that it entered its "wandering phase" and picked your celery as a good place to settle in. Let us know if it starts to make a silk sling around it because that definitely means it's pupating. I put my cats and chrysalises in Gladware containers or Critter Keepers. Just make sure you can see through it and that it will be big enough for the wings to expand. But I definitely agree with Cheryl about keeping it somewhere where it will experience the actual (or close to) temperatures like a garage, or protected outside space. Just make sure you place it somewhere you'll see it!

Also, feel free to jump in or follow the monthly butterfly thread. That's where most of us hang out and discuss all things butterfly, caterpillar, and moth. We're almost done with this month's thread; I'll be making one for October soon. But for now, we're hanging out here: The thread "September 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Claudia
Sep 30, 2016 1:41 PM CST
I have had no luck in over wintering cats. If it were me I would put it back out in the proximity of where you found it and let nature happen.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Garden Photography Container Gardener
Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Annuals Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia
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krobra
Sep 30, 2016 4:01 PM CST
they do eat celery , probably prefer the leaves over the stalk , but may eat that as well if it was desperate.
[Last edited by krobra - Sep 30, 2016 4:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda
South East Wi (Zone 5b)
luvmyseeds
Oct 1, 2016 9:50 AM CST
Thanks for the great welcome and the information. I made a mistake when I said celery.
It is parsley. I put the little guy in the garage, the temp there is the same as outside.
He sure eats alot.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Oct 1, 2016 9:55 AM CST

Moderator

Well, he's almost full grown from the looks of it so he's packing on the weight. FYI, Black Swallowtails are also known as the "parsley worm". Though, they do eat other things.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Oct 5, 2016 7:04 AM CST
OMG! Yesterday, I cleared a small strip in my garden in preparation for planting bulbs (I hope I'm not too late). There was one, small and well hidden milkweed plant and under one leaf, a bunch of eggs! They're small and yellow, and I'm hoping they're monarch eggs. The problem is that I didn't realize what I had until I had cut the plant down so now I only have the wilting stem with leaves.

What can I do to save the eggs and hopefully, hatch them? Do they need to be on a live plant to overwinter and hatch? Or can I keep them like this even though the plant will, most likely, die, and have them still hatch?

TIA!
AKA Joey.
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Image
nativeplantlover
Oct 5, 2016 7:59 AM CST
Joanna, can you post a picture of the eggs? I really doubt they'd be Monarch eggs this late in the year. Plenty of other things lay eggs on milkweed. This has been a banner year for Large Milkweed beetles.
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger

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