This is going on right down the street from me. Originally it got changed to “MEN TWORKING!” but yesterday someone made it even better. I hope it stays up.
Some bad caterpillar news: I noticed brown spots on a chrysalis today and Googled it to see what it might be. The result was most likely tachinid fly infestation, and the one caterpillar I had that died is proof of that since it had two white strings hanging off of it when it died (as shown in the last photo), which is what the tachinid fly larvae use to emerge from the dead caterpillar or chrysalis. I’m going to keep an eye on it to be 100% sure, but I’ll probably end up having to destroy that one :( Hopefully none of the others are infected as well.
Another chrysalis has a small deformity near where the butterfly’s head would be, which hopefully isn’t serious enough to harm the butterfly during development. I didn’t have these problems when I raised swallowtail caterpillars last year, but I brought those inside immediately instead of waiting until they were big enough to pupate. I’ll probably go that route with the monarchs next year just to be safe.
Milkshake needed her own set of pumpkin pictures this year! She tolerated this for about five minutes before she got bored and kept looking for something else to do.
Two of the caterpillars pupated on newspaper that ended up molding due to one of the caterpillars dying before it could pupate (I found another dead one outside in the park the other day - not sure if it’s a virus or bacteria or just nature’s way of saying they can’t all survive). I cut them down and moved them to a plastic container. I also found two more caterpillars about to pupate, so I took those, too. They just finished today, so hopefully I’ll have five butterflies soon!
omg yes hi Charlie
EDIT: She ended up dropping the rest of the tail on her own, so she should be fine, I guess! Now she’s just gonna be frogbutt Rosie.
Some interesting/unfortunate photos from earlier today. I had Rosie out to get pictures of her and must have scared her somehow :( She started to drop her tail (see below for more info on this if you’re like WTF) but didn’t do it all the way, so now there’s a bit of muscle sticking out on the edge where she started to sever it. I posted on Pangea asking for advice since I don’t know if it’ll heal up properly on its own and wonder if it’s safer or better for her to lose the entire tail, but if anyone here has any advice for me, I’d love to hear it!
For anyone not familiar with crested geckos, tail drops are a normal way for them to respond to anything they feel is threatening or scaring them. It’s used as a way to escape predators, and most wild crested geckos don’t have tails as adults since they’re one of the few species that don’t regrow their tails after losing them. It’s pretty common for captive-bred geckos to throw their tails, too, though they’re supposed to lose the entire thing at once (which is why I’m consulting the internet - there’s lots of info on how to handle the whole thing popping off, but nothing on what to do when it’s partial). The muscles in the tail sever along fracture points at the base (Google has better pictures of this if you’re curious), and then the area heals up on its own over a short period of time.
Rosie is generally very calm, but being a tiny lizard she does tend to spook easily like most other tiny lizards. I’m amazed I had her for this long without her throwing her tail, to be honest. I still feel like an ass for scaring her, though :( Poor Rosie.
Aaaand part 6: Artica dance party, which was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Sorry for all the photo spam posts in a row, but hopefully someone besides me enjoys them. If you’re ever in St. Louis the next time Artica happens, you should go to it!
Saturday part five: fire
Saturday part 4. I took a lot of photos at Artica… A lot.
Saturday part threeeee
Saturday part 2
Saturday part 1
It’s caterpillar time! I figured the monarchs in the park near me were done since the first rounds of caterpillars came and went, but there were some stragglers left that I ended up taking home. There are four, and three of them are about to pupate (the fourth and largest one is still chowing down on leaves for some reason) which is why I brought them inside. I really wish they hadn’t started doing it on the temporary lid I made out of old newspaper ads, but I taped it to the glass tank they’re in so it doesn’t come loose and fall in.