Monarch Caterpillar Reminiscing

A month ago we still had a group of monarch caterpillars on the Narrow-leaf milkweed plants Asclepias fascicularis. I meant to cut down all of the milkweed mid-September, as per the recommendation of the Xerces Society, but a mama monarch kept visiting and laying eggs.

So the milkweed remained uncut to feed this last group of the year.

It's always so fascinating to observe monarch caterpillars when they munch on the tops of milkweed stems, as this caterpillar is doing. The stems seem to be especially tasty.

Those back feet have such good grips.

A lady bug is at work here, eating aphids off the milkweed plant.

Meanwhile, to the left, a monarch egg was developing under a leaf.

The monarch caterpillars have been in pupa stage for the past several weeks.

We only know where several of them are.

This one attached itself to the rim of a large flower pot where several milkweed plants were growing.

Meanwhile, all the milkweed plants have been cut down to the nubs and are going dormant for the winter.

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