Six caterpillars and six chrysalises…I think. As caterpillars move and grow at rapid rates; it’s difficult to track them outdoors. The laundry room was a controlled environment; they were easy to track. Outside, butterflies continue to visit and lay eggs.
But at any given time, I never counted more than six caterpillars on the milkweed, and there are six chrysalises accounted for. The first three were easy to find; one attached under the windowsill and two attached to the eave of the roof. The other three went missing. I searched for days and only by chance found them while turning on the hose.
You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it, but there are three little chrysalises all in a row! It was quite the exciting discovery. Out of six caterpillars, half were drawn to the milk crate. It makes perfect sense; caterpillars seek out sheltered areas. They also need enough room to unfurl their wings. Milk crates suit both requirements.
And the handles are large enough for the butterflies to exit through.
The milk crate worked so well that all three chrysalises survived. Out of the first three, only one made it. Now that the Monarchs have moved on, I’m going to put the crate up against the fence near the Cassia tree. The Orange-barred Sulphurs have been visiting regularly for a few weeks now, mostly in pairs. I spotted two mating mid-air yesterday and spotted this caterpillar last week.