(This post was originally posted in June, 2010)
While wandering through my nearby prairie meadow a few days ago, I found 3 of these beautiful creatures on some Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa). What a joy to watch them munchin’ on the foliage of the Butterfly Weed, knowing that soon they would be transforming into pupas, or chrysalises (or is that chrysali?), and then undergoing metamorphosis into beautiful Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies!
This is especially encouraging to see due to the heavy winter-kill of the Monarchs this past winter. Predictions on the numbers of this beauty have been drastically reduced this year, so it is nice to see some activity. I also want to say that I have been back to this meadow since first seeing these caterpillars, and have not seen them. I’m guessing that they may have already pupated in the nearby growth. So, my next trip there will be partially to see if I can find any of them!
Here are a couple of images I made from that day in the meadow.