Alternative food sources

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  LeslieD 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #51928

    Linda Lewis
    Participant

    Any body ever tried putting monarch butterfly eggs on other host plants besides milkweed or swan plants and had any luck in rearing the caterpillars?, surely there must be other plants or a man made formula for them!!. I know silkworms will only eat mulberry leaves but you can buy silkworm chow powder as a substitute for them.
    Just a though.

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  • #52007

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    Thanks Rob, that’s good advice and pretty apparent :), but I’m sure you are aware its a mission culling eggs on a daily basis especially on big plants, and taking into account environment and all its quirks. Last year I had masses of plants and hardly any caterpillars survived because of the weather. Last year I started culling early and ended up with pretty much nothing and this year I left it too late.

    Its a learning experience .. this is my third year and no two years have been anything alike. The one thing I have learnt, and thank god for that, is to keep growing plants and keep a lot under cover. That’s whats getting us through this crisis. I see my big plants are already showing signs of recovery and i’ll be throwing some nets over them real soon :).

    #52003

    rob cooper
    Participant

    just sort out what your plants can hold easy

    #52002

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    Well I am ashamed to say I underestimated my volume of plant versus caterpillar and have the situation where my six foot hedge is stripped and even my reserve supplies under cover are under extreme pressure … its all hands to the pump here. The garden centres appear to be out and a dismal outlook by some regarding future supply. So, I have resorted to the cucumber and pumpkin scenario for the big ones. I have two caterpillar castles with the pumpkin and cukes at the bottom. The castles have many chrysalids and a lot of J’s and the rest are cats pigging out at the bottom or marching round. I hope to be able to preserve enough plant to deal with whats left of the cats appropriately. hopefully the plants recover quickly!

    #52001

    kym
    Participant

    Hi
    My big cats are eating cucumber after decimating the swan plants. I put the littlies on the last remaining leaves as a previous forum post said they wouldn’t do well on cucumber or pumpkin when little.

    I cut the cucumber in thin and thick slices.

    Video:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/u5JRIA81bVTw9JMg2

    #51929

    Linda Lewis
    Participant

    Just found this article that may come in handy for people with last instar caterpillars?.

    Milkweed Shortage Sparks “Alternative Fuels” for Hungry Monarch Caterpillars

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