Today a did a survey of the milkweed in a section of our pastures of about two acres. I observed monarchs now and then, but my strong focus was on trying to see the tiny eggs and almost invisible newborn monarch larvae on the milkweed plants ~ trying to be careful and gentle and not disturb them as well. The monarchs I did see were variously resting, nectaring, egg-laying, and flying around. It was a cloudy day, windy, around 77 degrees F, and around 75% humidity.
Here are the results of today's milkweed survey. I looked at 268 milkweed plants and found a total of 332 eggs and 57 larvae.
Some milkweed had 0 eggs and some had multiple eggs. This is what I found regarding that:
110 milkweed w/0 eggs
79 milkweed w/1 egg
35 milkweed w/2 eggs
16 milkweed w/3 eggs
16 milkweed w/4 eggs
5 milkweed w/5 eggs
4 milkweed w/6 eggs
2 milkweed w/7 eggs
1 milkweed w/8 eggs
Some milkweed had both larvae and eggs & some had no eggs but did have a larva or larvae. Of the 57 larvae I was able to find, most were 1st instars ~ with many being newborns.
47 1st instar larvae
10 2nd instar larvae
I had wanted to do more looking, but it was a busy family weekend (working in our woods removing thorn trees). The others did comment that they were sure seeing a lot of monarchs!
This is a photo of a beautiful monarch as she lays an egg on a freshly emerging milkweed today. You may also be able to see another of her eggs already on one of the leaves.
Latitude: 30.4 Longitude: -95.8
Observed by: Kathy
The observer's e-mail address will not be disclosed.
Contact will be made through a web-based form.