Monday, August 15, 2011

Monarch v. Mantis and 40+ Cats

This male monarch met his demise on a Liatris ligulistylis. Lots of mantis action in the garden this year.


On the other side of things, I have 40 monarch cats in a 10g aquarium, and about 20-30 more soon to join them, for what will likely be a total of around 100 this year--1/2 of last year. We released 7 butterflies today, I think 4 were female (so far this year it's been more males in general, though I'm not keeping copious records--dealing with all the poop keeps me plenty busy).





13 comments:

compost in my shoe said...

Looks like a boat load of compost!

Rambling Woods said...

Wow...that is amazing. I have only released one and so I thought I would try a few more..I agree that they do life you up...Michelle

Randy Emmitt said...

Benjamin,
Good supply of Monarchs thus far. Not seen any Monarch cats this year yet. Yesterday Meg took 10 Black Swallowtail cats and 5 Common Buckeye cats for the second grade class to study the life cycle.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Mr. C--I sprinkle it on my ice cream.
RW--Yes, raise some more! Have you seen them change, or then later emerge? So neat!
Randy--That's awesome that Meg did that. One thing I'd like to do even for college kids.

Donna said...

How wonderful all those monarchs...I only see the butterflies in my garden and hope to spy the caterpillars next year. I have never seen a mantis in my garden. They are so cool.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Never seen a mantis Donna? We have egg sacs galore each winter bursting with dozens of tiny babies in the spring. Freaky.

scottweberpdx said...

Poor Monarch! Oh well...that's life in the garden! I haven't seen any Matids in the garden so far this year, which is such a bummer...maybe they are just getting better at hiding from the crazy person with the camera.

Window On The Prairie said...

I only had one caterpillar and was amazed at all the poo. Can't imagine all the poo you're dealing with.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Scott--Are you in the garden witha camera every day too? I sometimes wish I had one imbedded in my forehead, because by the time I go back inside to get the camera the shot is gone. C'mon, technology.
WOTP--Every 2 days, max, I change out the poo-covered paper towel. It's pretty intense. Of course, I freely admit here, the drawback is that with this many cats in one enclosure disease is more of a problem, but I figure I'm saving far more than I'm endangering.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I normally see a mantis or two over the summer, but haven't seen any this year. I haven't had as many monarchs as you, but have been seeing at least 4 at a time each day. They are out at all daylight hours. There have been a number of swallowtails and skippers, and an occasional blue, but the last few days, I haven't seen any swallowtails.

I am enjoying your book. I have been reading it at lunch, and my laughing out loud caught the interest of a co-worker, and he'd like to buy a copy for the 7.98 to include the postage like I did. Do you mind sending me another copy?

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sue--I saw a black swallowtail today, and as always several monarchs, not 10 since last week though. I'll have to give you a commission! Selling me books! I've heard from lots of people who love the book, and I'm impatient for word to spread about it (not selling well at all yet). I'll get the book out to you! Thank you for laughing during lunch! (when did you laugh?)

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

We've been raising Anise Swallowtails, which has been fascinating. Despite planting quite a few milkweeds, the Monarchs have not discovered our garden.

Benjamin Vogt said...

LR--Really, no monarchs? Granted, it's been a much slower year, but we still have 6 at a time in our garden.