Monarch Larva (FIRST sighted)

Date: 05/10/2002

Number: 1

We live at 1600 feet altitude and I have a clone of 41 stems of Asclepias syriaca growing in my front garden. The shoots are mostly about 14 inches high, very healthy, and about half are in the early bud stage.

On 11 May 2002, I counted about 15 young first instar larvae on the plants, almost all feeding on the apical leaves surrounding the buds, or where the buds will shortly appear. No eggs or older first instars or any other larvae were noted and I suspect that all 15 were from eggs laid by a single female passing through.

To estimate the date of egg laying; the 1st instar larvae were at
least 2 days old; the eggs probably at least 4, so the eggs would have to
have been laid on or before 4 May 2002. (1 May seems earliest possible

Small round holes chewed in several other leaves indicated that there were originally about 20 larvae. On 12 May, I rechecked the plants and most, if not all, had disappeared, almost certainly eaten by predators. I have not yet seen any adult monarchs in this part of Virginia. I think it is a good idea, especially this year, to do as Elizabeth Hunter did: bring eggs and

Roseland, VA

Latitude: 37.8 Longitude: -79

Observed by: Lincoln
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