Monarch caterpillar trouble help


Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
838
Reaction score
355
Location
Miami, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
The little baby caterpillars hatched today, and for some reason, most of them have been dangling off a little silk string. They would still be alive. I'm worried what's wrong. I'm trying to detach them from the string, but I can't be outside the whole day looking out for them. Are they dying? There is significantly less babies now than this morning.

Also, I see something really weird in the back of one of the leaves.

IMG_2993.JPG
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
9,574
Reaction score
4,471
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
The little baby caterpillars hatched today, and for some reason, most of them have been dangling off a little silk string. They would still be alive. I'm worried what's wrong. I'm trying to detach them from the string, but I can't be outside the whole day looking out for them. Are they dying? There is significantly less babies now than this morning.

Also, I see something really weird in the back of one of the leaves.

View attachment 21337
Those are eggs, of what I have no idea. Let them hatch out and see. Just be prepared for anything and have spinosad close by. If the caterpillars are dangling from a silk type string it is for a reason. If they are still alive then it is probably normal. Don't try to change Mother Nature or you will definitely kill them. And just because they are on a milkweed doesn't necessarily mean that they are Monarch caterpillars either. I found the following link interesting but it said nothing about these caterpillars dangling from thread.
http://thefollisreport.com/monarch-eggs/
 
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
838
Reaction score
355
Location
Miami, FL
Hardiness Zone
10b
Country
United States
Firstly, I removed the leaf with the mysterious eggs. I don't want anything harmful growing on this plant because I can't spray it if it hatches. I trimmed the leaf with the eggs and set it aside so I can see it hatch.

As for the monarchs, I couldn't find any, but looking further, I discovered that they were all on the top of the plant, eating the new, tender shoots. I don't see anymore dangling for now.

Chuck, I'm pretty sure they are monarchs because the eggs and caterpillars look exactly like a monarch. Maybe those other eggs are a different type of butterfly?
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
9,574
Reaction score
4,471
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Firstly, I removed the leaf with the mysterious eggs. I don't want anything harmful growing on this plant because I can't spray it if it hatches. I trimmed the leaf with the eggs and set it aside so I can see it hatch.

As for the monarchs, I couldn't find any, but looking further, I discovered that they were all on the top of the plant, eating the new, tender shoots. I don't see anymore dangling for now.

Chuck, I'm pretty sure they are monarchs because the eggs and caterpillars look exactly like a monarch. Maybe those other eggs are a different type of butterfly?
Only time will tell.
 

JBtheExplorer

Native Gardener
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
1,402
Reaction score
3,114
Location
Wisconsin
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Those eggs look possibly like Tussock caterpillar eggs. Another caterpillar that eats milkweed. I'm not sure if they are or not.

Monarch caterpillars do have silk. I've only ever seen the really tiny ones use it. I wouldn't be overly concerned yet. Keep an eye on it and update if something changes.

My recommendation is that mother nature knows best. Try not to interfere too much. Things tend to work out. Tachinid flies are the biggest issue around here, but you won't know until it's too late.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
520
Reaction score
383
Location
India
Hardiness Zone
13b
Country
India
I have seen caterpillar dangling on silk thread as long as 10 feet.

I think they might be wanting to change plant.


Sorry, don't know what the caterpillar was, they generally come down from drumstick tree(moringa oleifera) to smaller plants under it.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
1,271
Reaction score
1,177
Location
Atlantic Beach, Fl
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United States
You can never learn if you don't observe. I've never seen eggs like that on my milkweeds, but I'd be really curious what came from them. Observe and learn.

As for monarchs, don't bother trying to help them, there's a reason the monarch lays so many eggs, because so many die, mostly from predation. If you try saving everyone, you'd spend a lot of time; the best you can do is to just create a good habitat for them to do what comes natural. No sprays needed, just habitat and let nature do its thing.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top