I was somewhat stunned the other day when an old friend of mine relayed to me a situation taking place in his home. (‘old’ in this case refers to how long we’ve known each other–we went to grade school together–not his age).
Seems a rather late monarch butterfly had taken refuge somewhere in his backyard recently. It was past the time when most of the butterflies had migrated and so this particular individual was destined for an inglorious end by freezing to death. With a soft touch and a soft spot in his heart he took the insect indoors on October 15. I guess I’ve never heard of anyone doing this but it sounds kind of cool.
He keeps it in a room where it flutters about pretty much on its own. I can’t remember what he feeds the critter, sugar water or some other sweet concoction.
I did a little checking and found that normally adults live two to six weeks. However, the migrants can live for a few months (the ones which make their way to Mexico). I wonder just how long this guy is going to survive in the care of my buddy? We shall see.
The photo above is one he provided and shows it feeding from a measuring spoon. This is a male monarch, told by the thin black veining and the enlarged dark spot on each hind wing; scent glands I understand.
I’ll let you know if this fella makes the winter…
Neat story Dave.