The Monarch Monitoring Project is a long-term study on monarch migration through Cape May, NJ. It is a part of the New Jersey Audubon Research Department, and closely affiliated with the Cape May Bird Observatory.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Last Demo and State of the Terrarium

Monarch that should emerge within 24 hours
Hello, just wanted to remind you that today (Sunday the 14th) is the last Monarch tagging demo of the year. As usual, it will be held at 2 pm at Cape May Point State Park, at the East Shelter next to the Hawk Watch platform. Today is going to be much warmer than the past couple of days (high of 71 degrees F), so even though there might not be too many Monarchs around, at least today they should be flying around more and need less basking on vegetation in order to stay warm. At the Cape May Bird Observatory (Northwood Center), our terranium display is also beginning to wind down. At this moment, there are two 5th instar caterpillars (the last stage before pupation) and 6 chrysalis on display. The butterflies tend to emerge from the chrysalis in the morning so if you want to watch a Monarch eclose (biology term for an insect emerging from an egg or pupal case), find a chrysalis where the wing pigmentation is visibile through the skin of the chrysalis, which usually happens within 24 hours of emergence. Come back and watch this chrysalis the morning after you first observe the wing pigmentation. Eclosure happens quickly so don't take your eyes off the chrysalis for too long!

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