Because All Caterpillars Need a Name

I got a new caterpillar yesterday!  He went through several names before I finally settled on Wiggly the Spaz, because he is seriously squirmy and tends to twitch.

         

I kept him in a plastic cup, which let me catch this cool shot!

However, when he went to pupate, his J was crooked.

When I checked on him a few hours later, he had fallen to the bottom of the cup.  I was hoping for the best, but this morning he was dead.  There’s in insect called the tachnid fly that can parasitize a young monarch as it emerges from its egg.  The fly larva develops inside the caterpillar until the caterpillar is ready to pupate.  Then it kills the caterpillar as it emerges from inside of it.  I knew for sure that Wiggly was infected because there were several larvae at the bottom of his cup this morning.  So gross!!

Fortunately, Chubs’ chrysalis is still looking good!  Hope to have some new pictures soon!

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