Your Caterpillar is Now 6 Days Old.

Click on a picture for a close-up view.

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Picture #2
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Picture #4

Wow, Look at your caterpillar go! It was all over the milkweed in the past 3 days looking for the best places to get a snack. Picture #1 shows the size difference that two days can make. If you look closely you can see the little just hatched caterpillar above his older sibling. What do you think your larger caterpillar is telling the little one? Picture two is of your caterpillar on day 4 sipping more nectar from the flowers. This is one sweet caterpillar. Monarch caterpillars are eating machines and will grow 2,800 times their original hatching size within 18 - 21days depending on temperatures...they are cold blooded afterall and when it gets cold they move very slow. This is good to know if there is a food shortage < keep them chilly until you can locate more milkweed. >

We were feeding our other caterpillars when a big wasp landed on the enclosure near your caterpillar and attempted to eat it through the mesh. Luckily nobody was hurt and we quickly persuaded the wasp to leave. It is a good thing our mesh enclosure was intact. In the wild up to 90% of small caterpillars are stolen by wasps and hungry insects to feed their young. So be extra careful if you are raising your caterpillars outside, you need a protective mesh enclosure. At this stage your caterpillar will eat only small holes in a leaf and a small plant can sustain it...but not for long!

Your caterpillar has inborn instinct to keep it safe, it will eat and run to avoid being next to a hole in a leaf which is a telltale sign for predators that a juicy caterpillar is in the area. You can often find small caterpillars on different parts of the milkweed at different times of the day. Oh yeah, and look at its head and tail they are both sprouting soft horns to confuse predators as well, who can not tell which end is which. We of course know the difference...the eating side is the front with the longer feelers.

Now is a good time to think about planting seeds or getting some small plants so you will be ready to raise a caterpillar at your home when this online program ends. Because you are taking the time to learn about exactly how to care for our Monarch friends we have a special gift for you! Free seeds with every order and with every Milkweed plant order we will include extra for free. We will ship plants to you as soon as weather permits <no freezing temps between us> We are in South Florida. Milkweed is the only plant Monarch caterpillars can eat and having some in your yard is almost a guarantee of soon having your own caterpillars to care for.

The live Monarch Foundation is happy to bring you this free learning experience and hope you will share your, lessons with others and help Butterflies in your area by planting seeds for their caterpillar children. Please take advantage of our Free Seed Program and please tell others about this online pet adventure!

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