Deformed Monarchs.

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    Topic
  • #50097

    GaynorTait
    Participant

    This morning when I went out to release a Monarch from one of our castles, we discovered a dead, deformed one on the floor of castle. Then checking on garden Swan Plant, there was a deformed butterfly just emerging from the chrysalis formed on the under-side of a cherry tree leaf beside it.
    Last week we had to destroy two black chrysalis that had been hanging for approximately 2 weeks and 5 weeks respectively…..Why do they form to the last stage before becoming a butterfly, then die?? Still have about 9 chrysalis and several more caterpillars yet.

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  • #50105

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hopefully, Gaynor, there will be more monarchs to come. So don’t worry too much about the losses – it does happen. As a farmer once said to me (when I lost a couple of sheep – to find out later that they had a bad worm problem) “where you have livestock, you’ll have dead stock”.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jacqui

    #50104

    GaynorTait
    Participant

    Jacqui , these are the first two deformed butterflies this year, and approximately 3 have died. Have released 54 beautiful butterflies. Not as many as I did last year, as I feel this year the monarchs I have had to lay eggs have been very scarce.
    Thank you for your informative reply.

    #50099

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Gaynor

    It is hard to gauge what percentage are deformed/dead as you don’t say how many successful butterflies you’re releasing but I would suspect that you could have a disease if it’s 50:50 or worse.

    In that case, you can either grin and bear it OR sanitise the castle and as much as you can. Obviously, you can’t disinfect the swan plant in the garden. Bear in mind that diseases, viruses, parasites, predators are here to keep the monarch population in balance, so it’s entirely natural. And also diseases tend to build up at the end of the season.

    Hope that helps!

    Jacqui

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