Caterpillar Cribs

Remember when I showed you this monarch egg?

Monarch egg

Monarch egg to the left of my thumb

I went back to check a couple of days later and found this

monarch  caterpillar

the caterpillar is the tiny, horizontal, yellow line at the base of the leaf

If you do start collecting caterpillars to raise, you need to be able to house them accordingly.

This is the setup I use for the babies.

monarch  caterpillar, caterpillar house

A mason jar makes a great caterpillar nursery

Add some screening, some small twigs, and screw the cap into place.

caterpillar house

A few days later and he/she has grown so much!  Awwww….

monarch caterpillar

It is very important to feed the caterpillar milkweed morning and night.  They do not require water and you should not give them water (water and caterpillar poo is very toxic to them)

It is also very important to clean out the poo (frass is the politically correct term for poo) and it looks like this

frass, caterpillar poo

Caterpillars grow very quickly and will outgrow their jar very soon.  When they become teenagers,  I put them in the caterpillar dorm.

caterpillar house

You don’t need a dorm mother, but Magnum doesn’t mind

I found several of these little bug houses on clearance at a farm supply store.  They make great housing for those awkward teenage years (or days in this case)

caterpillar house caterpillar house

monarch caterpillar

monarch caterpillar

monarch caterpillar

When I collect several more caterpillars, I will move them to the caterpillar condo

110_1063

which is an old aquarium with a screen top.

This particular condo has a gorgeous view from the back porch, gets a couple of hours of morning sun, and loads of fresh air.  It has housed up to 30 caterpillars, making it great destination for becoming a butterfly.

I will work on filling the aquarium this weekend and hope to show you a chrysalis very soon!

Brenda

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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16 Responses to Caterpillar Cribs

  1. Oh, Brenda – that is so cool! We’re working on increasing our milkweed patch this year – I’m seeing tons of monarchs arriving right now!

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  2. Brenda – That’s a LOT of work. I fear I am too lazy. By the way, if you are using a 35mm digital camera, you can get screw-on close-up lenses CHEAP. I bought mine eons ago. They came in a little leather case about 2″ x 2″ which I put on the camera strap so that I always have them handy. Beats all that nonsense of changing lenses and having to BUY the lens.

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  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I’m really enjoying this series about monarchs! What a fun adventure for your little garden helpers!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    What a fun way for your grandbabies to learn.

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  5. Jeanetta says:

    I love monarchs. So beautiful.

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  6. dotlatjohn says:

    I love monarchs, too! Your process is intriguing. I didn’t know you could do that.

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  7. You are so lucky to have these beauties to raise.

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  8. bhoyt10 says:

    I love this! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  9. Pingback: Monarch Butterfly Update | The Blonde Gardener

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