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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess these aren't really companion animals, but I had to show you guys my caterpillers. I've decided that monarch butterflys are good luck so I got a couple of swan plants, which are now taking quite a beating from these little guys. I had them around the front of the house to begin with but they were getting too much sun and shriveling up and dying, since I put the plants around the back the one's that have hatched have lived and have already almost doubled in size.<br><br>
Has anyone done this before? I have two concerns: that they'll desimate the plants and run out of food, and that my cat will eat them (she's big on bugs). Thanks in advance for any suggestions.<br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/4/46/46afd36e_vbattach5072.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/4/46/525x525px-LL-46afd36e_vbattach5072.jpeg" style="width:525px;height:393px;"></a><br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/b/bf/bf92d0f7_vbattach5073.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/b/bf/525x525px-LL-bf92d0f7_vbattach5073.jpeg" style="width:525px;height:395px;"></a>
 

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Hah! I was thinking of starting a "monarch butterfly appreciation thread" a few months back, but you sort of beat me to it. Last fall I was crossing a bridge over the river near where I live, about 150' over the water, and saw a monarch butterfly flying south. I know they migrate to Mexico or sometimes California... the sight of the animal flying so far alone was beautiful and sad at the same time...<br><br><br><br>
I'd never heard of "swan plants", and thought that monarch butterfly caterpillars ate milkweed. Anyway, I let milkweed grow around my house in the hope of having a monarch caterpillar family, but I haven't seen any yet. But try not to let your cat eat them for her sake as well as theirs. Monarch caterpillars absorb the poison from the milkweed and use it to protect themselves against predators.<br><br><br><br>
EDITED TO ADD: I just googled "swan plant", and they're in the milkweed family (asclepiadaceae). In other words: monarch butterfly chow. If they do eat them all, possibly you could find some milkweed in your area, but I don't know how they would adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My Mum said that they used to have some and when they finished off the plant they'd put some pumpkin at the bottom of the plant which they apparently did ok on. I guess I could always just buy some more swan plants, although I did have to grow these ones from about 20cm high because I couldn't find any larger ones.
 

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Do you have a natural history museum or any type of butterfly gardens or<br><br>
rainforest exhibit nearby? If so,you can contact them and they can probably<br><br>
give you the info you need. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey everyone. I thought I'd revive my caterpillars thread so I could show you all some pictures I got of the butterflies they turned into.<br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/7/72/722dac84_vbattach5224.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/7/72/525x525px-LL-722dac84_vbattach5224.jpeg" style="width:525px;height:394px;"></a><br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/c/cf/cf92629b_vbattach5225.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/c/cf/525x525px-LL-cf92629b_vbattach5225.jpeg" style="width:525px;height:394px;"></a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As it happened, my cat showed no interest in eating them at all, which I can only conclude, must have been because something about them told her they were poisonous - she's never hesitated to eat any other insects.
 

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Beautiful! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rockon.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rockon:">
 
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