CV Has Monarch Caterpillars!

4 Jul

Hooray!   Early this morning I spotted at least two Monarch larva (caterpillar) on the pink milkweed behind 195 Adams Street.

What’s the Big Deal?

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. The population has declined by more than 80 percent over the past two decades because of habitat loss. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will likely classify Monarchs as an official endangered species by 2019.

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That’s why, in 2012, when the play area was renovated, we planted swamp milkweed and other pollinator-friendly native plants in the butterfly garden alongside the fence. The strip includes goldenrod (Solidago altissima), goldentop (euthamia caroliniania), evening primrose, clustered mountain mint (pycmantiummuticum), and more. (Full list is here).

As far as I know, this is the first sighting of monarch larva in the play area since the butterfly garden was established six years ago. A big achievement!  Congrats to everyone who has supported the play area, the garden, and the vision of a wildlife friendly nature-scape!

With luck, the larva will grow for another week or so before it builds a pupa to protect itself during its transformation.  Butterflies could emerge as early as the week of July 20th.  Very exciting!  Note: If you see the larva or pupa, be mindful not to touch or disturb it.  We want these guys to survive!  Thanks, — Denise

monarch-butterfly-lifecycle

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “CV Has Monarch Caterpillars!”

  1. sansley July 4, 2018 at 3:11 PM #

    That is awesome — Audrey and I just stopped by to check it out!

    • alternahealthgrrrl July 4, 2018 at 3:25 PM #

      Cool! Let me know how many you count! They like to lounge on the underside of the leaves, I think.

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