Monarch cats dying at silk mat stage

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #48971

    Bron and Camryn
    Participant

    I’ve had a few full size monarch cats die at the stage where they are just in the process of making their silk mat. They go puffy and translucent and writhe around and eventually ooze green goo. I have one right now like this. It’s skin appears to be loose like when they molt.

    Just wondering if that is a familiar occurrence for other people. And also could this be because some cats get out of sync and start liquefying before they have made a chrysalis?

    Also, if I knock this one off is it best to put it in the freezer or put in a jar with some acetone on cotton wool? Which is more humane? It looks like it is suffering. 🙁

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #48986

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great to hear, Bron. It’s a bit nervewracking, isn’t it!

    Jacqui

    #48985

    Bron and Camryn
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui,

    Great news. It survived and is now a chryalis! I am so relieved I didn’t euthanise it.

    I think what happened is that it started preparing its mat but was a bit poorly (hence the colour and puffiness) so it only made a half hearted piece of silk then lay on the floor. It spent the next day lying on its side looking distinctly unwell. By the afternoon though it had regained some colour and lost its puffiness and was bobbing its head as they do when hanging in a j. I had a closer look and saw it was holding a small thread of silk with its back legs so I taped the silk to the lid of the container and bingo!, it made a perfect J. Next morning I got up to find a lovely healthy looking chryalis. So fingers crossed it will emerge ok too.

    I’m a bit nervous about them getting sick at the chryalis stage because last season I had two that reached mat making stage and then became very ill and died. They also went puffy and off colour but they also started shaking and having fits and then after several hours excreted blood. Nasty way to die. Also haven’t been able to find out what they had as no description of caterpillar illnesses I have read match their symptoms.

    Anyway, I find my method of raising cats indoors has a very low incidence of illness but nonetheless I will look at modifying the containers so that they are easier to keep clean.

    #48982

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Sorry, Bron – just picked up on this thread. I have had two fall when pupating (just found them in the butterfly house) but don’t know what had gone wrong. I will have to spend more time in there watching them…

    Hope it’s nothing serious. How many have you had like that?

    Funnily enough, I was looking up about “suffering” and pain just earlier. I’ll make a separate post about it. According to scientists insects and are other invertebrates do not “suffer”. However, caterpillars and other invertebrates are living organisms and as such deserve humane treatment.

    Norm who gives us a lot of great advice, prefers to euthanase diseased organisms by putting them on a hard surface and hitting them with (for example) a brick. I prefer to put them in a suitable container and into the freezer, and then dispose of that a few days later in the rubbish.

    #48978

    Bron and Camryn
    Participant

    Cat still alive. I think it has an infection. I will try changing my raising containers to something easier to sterilise that has better ventilation.

    #48972

    Bron and Camryn
    Participant

    Just found an interesting fact on this site http://www.butterfly-fun-facts.com/disease-oe/abnormally-colored-monarch-butterfly-caterpillars/

    “Bacteria will sometimes enter the hemolymph/blood of a caterpillar. They do not have blood vessels as do many animals. Their hemolymph is free flowing in their bodies. The dark line down the back of the caterpillar is its heart. Hemolymph is pumped out of the heart at the head of the caterpillar and flows freely though its body to the rear of the caterpillar. At the bottom of its heart, holes draw hemolymph into the heart and it is pumped back up to its head area again. If bacteria is in the hemolymph, it will cause the caterpillar to appear dusky/dark. ”

    This might be why my caterpillar appears to have loose skin.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.