View Full Version : Monarch caterpillars this summer/fall

06-12-2004, 04:46 PM
I thought I would suggest a really cool project that we have done in the past in late summer. We have taken care of monarch butterfly caterpillars during their metamorphic lifecycle and talked about their life stages and eventual migration to Mexico.

I found a site that has lots of info including ordering information if you can't find any caterpillars on your own milkweed plants (their sole diet). http://www.monarchwatch.org (http://) This site had the most links for education about monarchs and is a good starting place. Another site I found to order the caterpillars from is http://www.monarchpupa.com (http://)

They are easy to keep as long as you have milkweed. Any enclosure will do with some nylon hosiery put over the opening for ventilation. For those that have never seen a monarch chrysalis, they are amazing! They look like smooth green sacks with little gold beads across the closing seam. And when I say gold, I mean 14kt gold! The kids love caring for them and setting them loose as soon as they hatch from the chrysalis. We even practiced some Spanish to send them off on their journey to Mexico. Something else my son couldn't get over were pictures of the butterflies covering the entire region they migrate to. I think we will do this every year no matter how old the kids are! (maybe even when they are grown and gone :D )

06-12-2004, 05:08 PM
Here is a great site to learn more about the monarch and it has some pictures (which I can't seem to get posted on here) of the wintering grounds in Mexico. http://www.learner.org/jnorth/sm/aboutmbsf.html (http://)

06-12-2004, 10:35 PM
Thanks Brooke for the info. We have been looking for a project like this.


06-13-2004, 11:53 PM

We just did this project with the painted lady butterfly and was really neat. I was searching the web for catepillars that would be butterflies with different colors. All that I could find were the red, orange and black. I was after yellow or maybe blue. Does anyone know how to get these?

Thank you,

06-14-2004, 07:50 PM
Tandy, there's a book out, called "Family Butterfly Book". I found it at the library, and it has so much information in it! I THINK it had mail order places for butterflies, so you might want to check it out. It's been a while since we did them, though, so I'm not sure.

06-14-2004, 09:49 PM
tandy, did you check out spicebush swallowtail butterflies? They are black and blue. I found them on www.carolina.com/butterfly (http://)