Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Frasscinating!

This Monarch caterpillar, hanging around today in the gardens of TWWIAGE, is enjoying a nice snack of milkweed.  In fact, this caterpillar will have to do more than just nibble on this leaf, it will have to consume a huge amount of milkweed in order to bulk up its body mass prior to pupation. During the two weeks the caterpillar takes to go through five instars of growth it can increase its original body weight up to 2000 times.  Apparently, a Monarch caterpillar can chomp through one milkweed leaf in under 4 minutes.  That's a lot of milkweed.  And a lot of frass, or caterpillar poop to the layperson.  (Ha!  I just typed the word poop.  Titter, titter.)  I love nature.

4 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: I think I was 21 years old before I found one of these
jewelry-clad -gems

I'm with you: "I love nature."

Thomas said...

Ah, milkweed and the monarch.

When I moved to the Finger Lakes region, I remember milkweed throughout my vineyard rows--a pest, but one that had a higher purpose.

We don't see milkweed as much around here--something to do with Roundup use.

We don't see monarchs much either. I think they are now classified as endangered.

Living a rural life certainly brought out something in me that Brooklyn, NY hadn't, even though as a child I loved to steal away into the large Prospect Park nearby, with its multi-wild life habitats. I can still remember the park's natural aroma, so alien to the smell of asphalt.

Thud said...

2000 times...that's me after lent...nearly there, eating chocolate eggs as I type.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: I would love to see a chrysalis. Lucky you.

Tomasso: The milkweed in my photograph was planted at great expense, on purpose, to attract beneficial insects.

Thud: There is no tomorrow, right? Because I'm consuming Mini Eggs like there isn't!