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Sari ONeal

The Hummer Thread Vol.2!!!

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33 minutes ago, Patrick Cooper said:

Charles, that's great advice!

As I say to my children. Grandparents and grandchildren (I have three) have one thing in common ........

 

A common enemy. 😄

 

I think that can apply to favourite uncles too.

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Yeah, the one that does the funky thing with his tail. He's also carrying a lizard of some sort.

If you click on the youtube logo on the bottom right, it takes you to the video on YT, and there are time stamps which tell you what each animal is; the names show up next to the time on the bottom of the video. I don't know why they don't show when linked here, I guess the time stamps are accessible only from YT site.

 

 

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Sari, my daughter's friend gave us a handful of caterpillars because they have so many that they've basically eaten all the milkweed they have in their yard so they were going to die. Took a day before they decided my milkweed was ok to eat (she has narrow leaf and I don't) but they're eating it now. However, two of the caterpillars are incredibly black compared to the other three. I thought maybe they were a different butterfly entirely but I don't recall them being that dark when she brought them here on Saturday. I looked online and it says that when monarch caterpillars get sick, they turn black. Should i separate them from the other three caterpillars JIC they have something that is contagious? have you ever seen this with the monarchs you've hand raised?

 

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Sheila - yes, they can get sick, there are lots of different things that can do that. I would keep them separate from the others just in case. Of course, it may not be contagious at this point, if it was caused by something they ate, or something that got to them, like a Tachinid fly. So, separate them, and keep an eye on them. If it's caused by a Tachinid fly, they most likely won't be able to pupate, as the fly larva is eating them from the inside. In that case you'll notice white strings coming out of them (usually as they try to pupate but can't), and you need to destroy them so the fly larva won't be able to go on and turn into a fly and get some more caterpillars.

I don't remember the specifics of the other (many) causes that can make them sick and die. I have seen the Tachinids, though, ugh :(

 

Queen butterfly caterpillars are darker than Monarchs, but they have more antennae, and I'm not sure if they're in your area.

 

 

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Thanks. I went ahead and separated them just to be on the safe side. Originally I wasn't sure if the males and females were strikingly different, but my google search says you can only tell them apart by dissection, so I figured it has to be that something is wrong with them :( 

 

Here's a quick image showing the striking difference. Two of them, the black rows are much fatter totally covering the white for the most part.

709727393_MonarchCaterpillars.thumb.jpg.b30317e94ee88f57e61d335445e0b59c.jpg

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I think the lighter one is a previous instar (4th I think), the dark one is 5th instar. It is really dark, but to me it seems normal. It'll pupate when it gets fat looking. Not quite there yet.

(And I hope I'm right as far as its health goes!)

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I didn't realize they had those stages. that makes more sense as one of the others started getting darker too. The two smaller ones are still pretty light. Of course the smallest one is because it's not even half an inch long yet. And the chrysalis is getting much lighter, but it's not transparent yet. Today was day 7 since it enclosed. I googled it and they showed two stage four side by side and one was tiny and the other fat and huge. Mine never got fat and huge so I'm glad to see that's not abnormal either. The chrysalis is only barely an inch or so in length, so it's not going to be a very large butterfly.

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Monarchs have five instars, all look slightly different. Typically there's about two days between each molt, they eat till they get fat, and then they rest and molt, they need to get out of the old skin as it doesn't allow for growth any more. After the molt they eat the old skin for extra protein; nothing is wasted. They're really light in color right after the molt, but the actual colors for that instar set in shortly after. They keep doing this till they reach fifth instar, they eat themselves as full as they can, and start looking for a place to pupate.

And yes, the size differences between the same stage instars can be big, but their goal is to be as well fed as possible at pupation.

The eclosion can be 8-15 days from the pupation; it seems like if it's really warm it's quicker, if it's cool it takes a little longer.

All the chrysalids I've ever seen have been approximately the same size, in my estimate just under an inch, not counting the "stem" on top.

 

 

 

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Sheila, they are striking looking caterpillars. I really like those zebra-like stripes.

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Impressive tackle by the jumper, Sari. That's definitely teleportation right there.

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Absolutely crazy what happened late last night. I cannot make any sense of it. I was working on a video file in Shotcut for stock footage and saved it as a project file. And I kept saving changes as I went along. Shotcut is not very reliable on this pc and keeps closing by itself so I was forced to keep saving my changes to preserve my work. A few times, I had to reopen the project file and resume work on it. But then all of a sudden, the project file was not there on the external hdd anymore. It had completely vanished and I definitely didn't delete it. 

So I had to create a new project file and start from scratch. After a few times of reopening the software and the project file and doing regular saves, it happened again. The project file disappeared. Completely gone from the external hdd. So then I created another project file and as I was doing the saves, I sent copies to the computer's internal drive - the C drive. And then it happened again - the file vanished from the ext. hdd. But I still had the copy on the C drive. Absolutely crazy. I hope this doesn't happen to other types of files on this ext. hdd. And it's my most recent hdd too but I don't know if the issue is to do with the hdd, the computer or the software.

I notice this morning that the video project file I worked on is still on the C drive so good to know that it hasn't disappeared from there. And last night, I checked the recycle bin on the computer and there were no project files in there. Weird how a file can just disappear like that with no warning. And it happened three times.

 

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Great action video Sari! I'd have freaked out if it had jumped on my hand like that! LOL. I don't mind watching spiders, but no touchie :D 

 

I put a dowel rod across the inside of the enclosure I have for the caterpillars and I'm using cloths pins to hold the milkweed leaves up for them not so they can eat in a more normal position climbing the leaves. They went right for it. It should make cleaning the bottom of the container much easier too as I won't need to reposition them to clean. I don't know why I didn't think to do that earlier.

 

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Now if you put sheets of paper towel (or just any paper) on the bottom you can easily remove the caterpillar poops.

I don't remember if I mentioned it already, but sometime back the jumper climbed on the top of the tube, and leaped from there onto my finger to get the fly - THAT was awesome :)

Of course I wasn't taking video that day, didn't have my phone with me.

 

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I don't know why I didn't think of putting paper towels on the bottom. That's so basic I feel kind of stupid for not thinking of that one 😕

 

The smallest caterpillar somehow escaped the enclosure. I'm thinking it went through the air vents in the top because it was so small. So I'll have to keep that in mind not to put the smaller ones in the larger enclosure in the future. Kind of bummed because it's obviously going do die if it hasn't already. I looked around for it, but never did find it. Then I found a huge fat one on my milkweed when I went out to water and get leaves for the ones inside. I knew there had to be one out there because the leaves are disappearing quite rapidly on some of the plants. He's much fatter than the ones I have inside.

 

 

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The first butterfly the chrysalis is finially becoming transluscent. I thought it was turning black but then I put it under some light to see more clearly and I can definitely see the monarch colors through it.

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Here's one day difference

two-monarch-butterfly-chrysalises-one-60

The darker one eclosed the next day, the lighter one the day after.

 

Oh, and it took me a long time as well before I figured out to put paper on the bottom, and yeah, it seemed so basic :D:D

 

 

 

I didn't post the video of the jumper closing the "door" on me, did I?

Here - it's funny -- but it's horribly wobbly because I was holding the phone in my left hand with no support, so sorry about that!

 

 

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That's funny, I guess he decided he wanted the bug enough to ignore your hand. LOL. 

 

I should've taken photos of the chrysalis when it was still all green, but I lack a good macro lens for my Nikon. I did several views with it tonight and merged them all together so it shows both sides and the front. That just got reviewed and accepted a minute or so ago, so it'll likely take awhile before it's up in my port. Hoping to be able to catch it emerging tomorrow. I'll set an alarm so I'm up bright and early :D  Usually, the dog wakes me up by 8AM, but sometimes he sleeps and doesn't bug me til after 9. I put it in the mesh container JIC it does come out before I get up so the cats at least won't have access to it. the other caterpillars, several of them are quite fat so they should start to enclose soon. With five of them in there, I'm having to collect leaves about every four hours.

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