I have been thoroughly enjoying my garden this year, with swamp milkweed among many other wonderful host plants for fun bugs.
A few days ago I noticed the monarch cats on my milkweed. I was so excited since I had never seen them in person, I spent all day
out taking photos, and have been spending probably 3hrs throughout the day photographing them.
They really are interesting.
my first photo after I discovered them...
I also found milkweed moth cats... very pretty and
I noticed after they are done eating, they drop to
the ground...will find out more later..
A bit hard to photograph since they are so long
and the depth of field in the morning with
minimal lighting is a challenge.
Here you can see one just shed to a new instar
see the dark mass behind it? that's it's old skin!
Swamp Milkweed~ Cinderella....
caterpillars eat and eat and eat, but
they also poop! this is 3 balls of
frass just evacuated from the caterpillar...
it's green but it will turn black as it dries...
then fall to the ground...
"num num num num num"
a beautiful fratillary came by to visit while
I was photographing the mcats.
one of the largest "bees" I have ever seen,
I will find out the species and get back to post it.
and then there were more!
baby mcat, 7mm in length
teensy tiny tentacles
look how big they are when they are almost ready
to turn into a butterfly!
and here is the baby again two days old,
look how long the tentacles are already...
size comparison to the large caterpillar several
days old, here is a two day old baby...
the little things in life...
and a good morning stretch...