Posted in Conservation, Creatures

One, two! Two Monarch eggs! Ah, ah, ah!

Not sure how many folks reading this remember the Count from Sesame Street, but the title above is what came to mind when I found the eggs today.

Each egg was on a separate leaf of the same younger plant.  Unlike the milkweed tussock moths which have no leaf age snobbery, monarch larvae prefer the more tender leaves, which is why the mother will often lay them on younger plants when available.

I currently have the leaves in the same “incubator” I used for the tussocks.  Once the eggs hatch (hopefully both do), I’ll transfer them to the larvae keeper.

I did try to take a picture of one of the eggs.  The bad camera just wasn’t up for it, so it’s a blurry off white oval on a nicely detailed leaf.  It just would not focus on the tiny egg.  We even tried taking the picture though a magnifying glass, and that didn’t work either.

I don’t think I mentioned it, but I did decide to rewild the milkweed tussock larvae I had brought in when I mistook them for possible monarch larvae, and as far as I have seen (even as recently as yesterday), they have done pretty well.  The plant I left them near they stripped all the lower leaves down to their stems.

I miss the fuzzy little ones, but I think I made the right choice because they have a better fighting chance from numbers alone to keep going.  It oddly warmed my heart when I saw the one yesterday, wiggling its fuzziness along as it wandered around briefly at the edge of the driveway before turning around disappearing back under the cover of leaves.

I’m really glad I kept them as I did once I realized my mistake, because I think the practical experience gained in how they are both alike and dissimilar to monarchs will stick with me better than reading about them.

I think I will also forever have a soft spot for those fuzzy little larvae.

Care to share thoughts on this?