Sick Monarch Butterfly

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  • #40751



    I live in Caliornia and attempted to house monarch caterpillars so my three year old could watch them emerge. Two of the caterpillars shriveled up and died (I replenished their milkweed daily) and I’m not sure why. The third had turned into a chrysalis on the ground and I strung it up on a stick. Unfortunately it emerged too close to the container walls and its wings are crumpled. I’ve been trying to take care of it, but noticed it defecating a green liquid. Butterflies don’t have that bodily function; correct? My question is that is there any disease our monarch could have that could affect my family? Also, is there anything I can do for it?

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  • #40758


    Draganlady, I am sorry you have had this happen as your intentions were good.
    When chrysalises are outside each morning I check them they always have dew on them. I have had chrysalises damaged inside because I think the atmosphere was too dry. If I have to transfer them inside again I will use a sprayer last thing at night to mimic what would be happening if they were outside.



    Hello there

    What’s wrong with your Monarch(s) cannot be transmitted to your family. However, it is quite possible that – as you’ve brought the Monarchs indoors – you have other things within your house which are affecting them, such as fly sprays, flea collars on pets, plug-in insect controls.

    I’ve even read somewhere about carpets being toxic to insects. Remember their systems are very much more simple than ours. It could even be that the milkweed has been sprayed… so take a good look at what’s going on in your “environment” and see if you can pinpoint the problem.

    I’ve been raising Monarchs for 30 or 40 years and I’ve had a lot of disasters. I’ve learned a lot from these, as sad as it is. But remember that female Monarchs can lay hundreds of eggs so not necessarily will every one be a success. Otherwise the planet would be overloaded ith Monarchs.

    Hope that’s helpful.

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