Monarch Eggs Hatching

Monarch caterpillar egg (Danaus plexippus)
Location: Naperville, IL
June 21, 2011 8:25 pm
Dear Bugman~
I thought you might like to have these photos I took today of the first of our 2011 Monarch caterpillars. We live in the midst of a prairie preserve with a lot of common milkweed, and we keep a few plants in our front yard for the purpose of raising Monarchs each summer. The one on the right has just hatched and has turned around to begin eating its shell. My photos of it actually hatching were too blurry, as I was in a hurry. The one on the left hatched after I left it, but I will plenty of opportunities for better shots. Best regards.
Signature: Dori Eldridge

Hatchling Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Dori,
We are positively thrilled to receive your excellent images of a newly hatched Monarch Caterpillar and a sibling egg about to hatch.  This very nicely rounds out our Monarch Butterfly metamorphosis as we now have all stages of development, though several Caterpillar instars may be missing.  We do have a question about the anatomy of the milkweed.  It appears that buds are just sitting on a leaf, and that they are not properly connected to the plant.  Can you please explain if this was a result of gathering eggs from a different plant.

Hatchling Monarch Caterpillar


1 thought on “Monarch Eggs Hatching”

  1. Dear Daniel~

    I am sorry for the delayed response. I had trouble figuring out how to post a reply to your question. I do in fact collect the eggs from the milkweed plants at my house and place them in habitats of my own creation. Since these eggs were laid on the flower umbels, I put them on a fresh milkweed leaf as the caterpillars are hatching. I do this because as the summer progresses, my plants become home to spider mites, ants and various types of spiders – all of which I have noted will attack both the Monarch eggs and the first few instars of the caterpillars. I know it’s nature’s way, but I like to give the Monarchs an extra edge. Thank you for your kind comments and for hosting this marvelous site! Regards, Dori


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