|Click on the photo to see the empty chrysalis next to the hind feet|
I don't have much luck with monarchs. Not because I don't have the right plants, and not because adult females don't lay eggs on those plants, but because damn great nonnative bufo toads (Bufo marinus) sit under them and feast on the growing caterpillars. So, when I found a solitary large caterpillar on a milkweed, with a toad waiting underneath, I took action.
I've never raised a butterfly in captivity before, and it turned out to be a successful endeavor. The caterpillar turned into a chrysalis two days later and about nine days after that, a beautiful, and good sized, monarch emerged. After being released, it spent a few hours flexing its wings before finally disappearing, and, ideally, getting ready to produce another generation.
|The newly released monarch gathering strength|
|Nearly ready to fly away|