|Early instar of Monarch Caterpillar on Asclepias curassavica|
|Monarch Caterpillars on A. curassavica. How many do you see?|
|Four Monarchs munching - they are running out of leaves.|
|When the leaves are gone, but you're still hungry, gnaw on the stem. Monarch Caterpillar on A. curassavica.|
|Ultimate Instar of Monarch Caterpillar, Ventral View|
|Finished Monarch Chrysalis & another caterpillar in J-Stage, preparing to shed skin and form chrysalis.|
|Newly eclosed Monarch|
A nice brood developed in mid-December. It was probably too early for butterflies to be migrating north from Mexico, so I believe it was a year-round resident female monarch who visited. Alas, the day several adults eclosed (hatched), we had unusual, record-breaking, freezing weather that lasted for days.
By the end of March, another female monarch found my milkweed. How do they find it, I wonder? A nice bunch of caterpillars grew fat munching on the fresh milkweed. We counted eight jade-green chrysalides suspended from the soffits; there were surely more in the shrubbery or on the flowers that we did not see.
Safe journey north, little guys.