Unusual Monarch Caterpillar

This topic contains 18 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Jennifer 8 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #27717

    Jennifer
    Participant

    SueB the deformed wings rather confirms my hunch about Oe.

    #27669

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui,

    That first link is really interesting as seems to support my observations here. I have noticed that the caterpillars on plants in the shady eaves at the back of the house (facing South), are very black in the early stages but appear to be quite normal after the 4th and 5th instar.

    #27665

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    From Mona Miller in the US, in response to someone’s post about Monarch larvae being darker than others:

    Mona Miller <runmede@…> wrote:
    >
    > http://www.hartwick.edu/Documents/BIOL/BIOL_JBR11_Dresser2010.pdf
    > <http://www.hartwick.edu/Documents/BIOL/BIOL_JBR11_Dresser2010.pdf&gt;
    > Sensitive Period of Temperature-Induced Color Variation
    > in Monarch Larvae (Danaus plexippus)
    >
    > Plus, it can be a mutation:
    > http://www.monarchwatch.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=544&start=0#p8200
    >
    > http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150230487490115.359972.86195995114
    > Scroll down to line 12 and 13. These are the coolest caterpillars and
    > pupae. Click on the picture to enlarge.
    > A mutation causes the caterpillar to be whiter and the pupae to be orangish.

    #27440

    Clair
    Participant

    I’ve always had “darkies” i.e. cats with no white stripes. I was pretty blown away by the first one and immediately isolated him – “she” turned out just perfect! I closely wacthed any others, and they always turned out fine too.

    I’ve wondered why it happens, and I have noticed that I get more darkies on the plants that get less sun. I’ve also noticed that the percentage of darkies increases hugely in Autumn.

    So yes, the theory that colour is an adaption to the amount of sun certainly fits with everything I’ve noticed here.

    #27424

    SueB
    Participant

    My unusual caterpillar unfortunately had very deformed wings when it came out of the chrysalis. I have discovered more caterpillars missing the white stripes so will see how I go however the numerous chrysalises waiting to hatch could be for either these or ordinary caterpillars.

    #27178

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Clinton,

    Bernie lives in the UK.

    Jane

    #27176

    clinton9
    Participant

    Hi Bernie,
    Are you sure you bred the white monarch butterfly ???

    I had never seen a white monarch butterfly in New Zealand all my life.

    Clinton.

    #27171

    Bernie
    Participant

    I haven’t posted on this because I feel sure that sometimes there is variation in colour in the larvae and they didn’t look unusual to me.
    I have bred the white monarch and the larvae and pupae are identical to the “normal” monarch

    #27169

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I think you’re referring to the tentacles or filaments? I always forget the word ‘tentacles’, very annoying.

    Have you seen the glossary on our website? It’s HUGE now. You could play “learn a word a day” for a whole year I think.

    https://www.monarch.org.nz/projects/glossary/

    #27161

    Chrisalis
    Participant

    I’m waiting to see the next photo.

    #27158

    Jennifer
    Participant

    The photos posted at the start of this thread are a bit unclear but I would be checking the butterfly produced from this. I am not sure but are the rear protruberances different sizes in the dark caterpillar? If so that is another sign of Oe mentioned on the page Darren has posted a link to. What are those false antennae called by the way?

    #27151

    Darren
    Participant

    Hi Jennifer, actually now that you mention Oe, I remembered this page has some interesting photos of infected caterpillars, and there is one where the white stripes have almost disappeared:

    http://www.learnaboutmonarchs.com/learnaboutoespore.html

    #27144

    Jane
    Participant

    Thanks Darren for the interesting link above. I guess that explains why the caterpillars on swanplants on the shady side of my house are usually much darker, more black and less yellow/white. Very interesting to read that research does confirm that fact, and that the reason is to absorb more light – how very clever, aand makes you wonder how they know or if they know to adapt to the conditions!!

    Jane

    #27138

    clinton9
    Participant

    Interesting, Seems both normal and black caterpillars turn to be normal coloured monarch butterflies.

    In Hawaii the white monarch butterflies were seen, but the colour of caterpillars and pupaes of white monarch butterflies were unknown. In butterflies the orange parts were replaced by white colour.

    Clinton.

    #27137

    butterfly mum
    Participant

    I had a few caterpillers like that.
    They seemed to be fine.
    It was pretty weird though because it had no white.

    #27135

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I had one that looked like this and it hatched deformed and had Oe when I looked under the microscope

    #27134

    Darren
    Participant

    Hi Sue, you might find this link of interest:

    http://www.mymonarchguide.com/2007/07/so-many-different-colours.html

    #27133

    clinton9
    Participant

    Hi Sue,
    Bring the two black monarch butterfly caterpillars indoor & rear them indoor as they might become butterflies with more black colour than orange colour or even black monarch butterflies.
    Put them on pumpkins pieces if you ran out of swan plants.

    Cheers

    Clinton.

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