Caterpillar in distress

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  • #50459


    Hi guys, I was wondering if you could help me as this is my first time raising monarch caterpillars. I have three but 2 of my caterpillars have already formed their chrysalis and I still have one baby monarch left. I recently bought a swan plant as they where living off branches of milkweed. I made sure it had no pesticides and rinsed it off with water just in case. I then put my baby caterpillar on the next morning and he started eating away happily but in the afternoon I found him hanging buy a clear thread? I then tried to put him back on to the leaf but he started rolling into a ” c ” shape and would not grip to the leaf and roll off. He is also not eating and spewing out green stuff. I put him back onto the leaf but he still isn’t eating and he keeps falling off! But he is still producing grass. Please Help! He’s my last one left 😔

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  • #50465


    Ok thank you Jacqui he is still alive and looking a lot better! Hopefully I will be able to start earlier next year and raise more caterpillars.




    Hmmm… Stevie.

    Five times in the life of a larva they need to shed their skin. This is not a good time to move them, as they spin silk and “tie themselves down” to wherever they are to shed their skin. Then they (usually) eat their skin and come back to the swan plant (milkweed) to begin their next stage. These stages are called instars.

    Perhaps you disturbed the caterpillar when it was trying to do this, I’m not sure. I used to move my caterpillars all the time when they were away from the plant, and then someone told me that I was interfering too much.

    I don’t know if this is the problem, but something to bear in mind is that it may not be something you’ve done at all – at this time of the year, end of the summer, the diseases and pathogens etc have had a chance to build up and will weaken the last of the caterpillars, which are also weaker anyway because of the cold and less sunlight. So it may not have been anything you did.

    Let’s hope that things come right! You’ll be more experienced next year so will be able to enjoy raising many more caterpillars.

    Keep up the good work.


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