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Monarch caterpillars and swan plant~~

It was only about a month ago when we discovered there is a Swan plant (Asclepias physocarpa) in the front yard.

Imagine our surprise when we saw this today:

Monarch caterpillars feeding on the plant!!!!! (^-^)

Monarch caterpillars only feed specifically on Swan plants. Yes, they only eat one type of food during their caterpillar life! The horror!!!!! ><“

However, a Swan plant diet is definitely the best diet for the caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars and butterflies are poisonous and unpalatable to predators, because of a toxic substance called Cardenolide aglycones present in the Swan plant, which is ingested by the caterpillars and stay retained in their bodies even after metamorphosis.

A Monarch caterpillar which is ready to turn into a Chrysalis~~

Empty Chrysalises left behind after the caterpillars emerged as beautiful butterflies

A Monarch butterfly

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About hungabusta

Hello Everyone! Please feel welcome to visit my food review blog, especially when you are passionate about food like I am. http://hungabusta.wordpress.com/ Thank you!! (^-^)

4 responses »

  1. i thought u are praparing food blog.
    is this eatable? :D

    Reply
  2. Being a retired science teacher( biology, chemistry, and human anatomy & physiology) I learned something about Monarch butterflies from you. From what I know of them in the Americas, they feed on milkweed mainly and also some other plants. I never heard of the swan plant, so I went to Wikipedia to learn more. This is what I discovered: “Asclepias physocarpa (also known as Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly balloonplant, balloon cotton-bush or swan plant) is a species of milkweed.” Apparently the swan plant is an Asian species of milkweed.

    Reply

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