Location: Elyria Canyon Park, Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 11, 2012
I decided to hike in to see how the Monarch Caterpillars had grown and boy was I surprised. It seems shocking that just 8 days ago, these little guys were munching on the blossoms. One can only speculate that the blossoms contain the most carbohydrates in the plant and all that nectar might speed up the growth metabolism of the caterpillars. Once they get their start, they eventually move to the leaves which are most likely too tough for the young caterpillars.
I spotted the first Monarch Caterpillar. It is over an inch long right now, and possibly as long as an inch and a half. There didn’t seem to be any eaten leaves in the immediate vicinity of the Monarch Caterpillar. It was not until I moved to the uphill side of the milkweed plant that I notices the second Monarch Caterpillar on the underside of a leaf and facing away from me at the position where I had discovered the first Monarch Caterpillar.
It is so exciting that both of the early instar Monarch Caterpillars I discovered last week are still eating and hopefully developing toward adulthood.