Friday, August 22, 2008

Monarchs Aplenty--19 and Counting

One red milkweed, asclepias incarnata, has 15-18 larva on it. Some are plump and ready to leave, some are so small you can hardly see them. I even found an egg yesterday the size of this: . A period. The egg has since hatched. Other milkweed have one or two larva (much smaller plants), and we've got two monarchs pupating now--one outside, one inside.































That's not one, that's TWO.


















The two above were fighting over one leaf (like there aren't more). The top larva would nibble at the base of the leaf, and the larva hanging down would curl up and sort of nip at the other.
































Click on the above image to expand. How many do you see? I count six. Please don't count the aphids--I lost track at 2,163.

Why does school have to start Monday?

9 comments:

Amanda B. said...

What amazing pictures! I have never seen so many all together- that is incredible that you have so many in your garden.

Good luck in school! :)

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I am thrilled for you and jealous at the same time because I have three Tropical Milkweeds. I have no caterpillars, and I don't know why. I'm glad you do though.~~Dee

Frances, said...

Hi Benjamin, this is beyond the pale. Like Dee, I grow several red milkweeds in hopes of attracting monarchs. The plants have been struggling with our drought however, they are wetlands plants. We are loaded with milkweed beetle type bugs, red and black, but no orange beauties. You are so lucky.

Benjamin Vogt said...

AB--I forbid you to mention that "S" word; in fact, I now forbid myself to mention it. Argh,
Dee--If you got to Monarch Watch, as I did earlier today, you'll find they have a listing of when monarchs arrive from up north, listed by latitude. Here, it's mid September. So maybe my egg laying is a head of the curve a bit, and your's is yet to come?
Frances--Maybe it's just beginner's luck I'm having here? First year with a garden, only a few milkweeds in the ground at this point. I'll take it! I'll mail you guys some larva.

ourfriendben said...

Wow Benjamin! We let all our milkweeds live and bloom here, and we always have some monarchs as a result. But not that many! I'm impressed! As for s....l, ack. The lottery!!!

Benjamin Vogt said...

OFB--No, not the lottery, a really good book publication. Well, maybe lottery, that's ok, too, certainly. I know writers who make thousands for a reading that's an hour or less, plus room and board gets sent their way.

Kylee said...

Oh my...I'm working on a post that is nearly identical to this one! Very cool that we share these wonderful experiences of Monarch life - miracles, every one of them.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Kylee--Well, I'll look forward to your post then! I hope it's like this every year, and just isn't beginner's luck (it is my first full summer with this garden).

Kylee said...

It's up! :-)