Posted in Conservation, Creatures

Two Monarch eggs to start with again this year!

I’d been looking from time to time for eggs lately, unsure if it was still too early despite having seen some adult Monarchs.  Found two today, one each on young plants right next to each other right outside my office window.

Two! Two Monarch eggs again! AH AH AH!
Both are on the innermost leaves, and much too tiny for any camera I have to capture well.

Aaand as I’m writing this, an adult just was flitting around outside that same window, and I tried to get a photo, to no avail.  I do have a plant to check after posting this, though, to see if it did lay some eggs on the one plant I noticed it lingering on a bit.  I couldn’t see if it was male or female, as once it took off from that plant, it just kept moving.  Maybe more eggs are in store soon!

Anyhoo!  So the image above are the two tops in the new keeper I mentioned before that my Mother in law had bought me for the holly days.  Since they are still wee baby eggs, I’m going to keep the keeper in the office for now, putting it up at night in a spare room where the kitties cannot enter.  I’m not so worried about our older rehome kitty, but the much younger boys I definitely think may get ideas, though I’m not sure at what stage of the Monarchs’ growth.

I just realized as I was trying to recall the exact date I found my first ones last year that I never did any reading on seeing how folks handle raising them with kitties around.  Speaking of last year, that would be July 21, 2018.

I’m also going to keep my one rain barrel water filled spray bottle in here, to make sure the eggs don’t dry out.  I had a few “disappear” last year, and I never figured out if it was due to dryness or cannibalization (sometimes when multiple eggs are on the same leaf, an emerging first instar will not only eat its own egg, but continue on to another.)  It’s been quite warm here of late, though right now as I write this there is a slight refreshing breeze taking the edge off the humidity of the earlier shower.  The new keeper is also not a glass baking dish, so less chance of overheating.  Still, better to have it on hand to build a good habit when needed.

So excited! Now I need to brush up on all my info about how many days for each stage.  Off the top of my brain, I think it’s a week to ten days for an egg to hatch, but have no idea how old these might be.  No sign of the dark pinpoint of a head yet, so they may be very recently laid.

If you are also a Monarch Guardian, or interested in this sort of thing, please leave a comment below.

Care to share thoughts on this?