Monarch release

Posted 9/23/20

Bob and Gloria Flottmann of Gerald have been hatching monarch butterflies for the last two summers. Last week, they invited some neighborhood girls over to help them release some of the creatures. …

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Monarch release

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Bob and Gloria Flottmann of Gerald have been hatching monarch butterflies for the last two summers. Last week, they invited some neighborhood girls over to help them release some of the creatures. Gloria uses a net cage to contain the butterflies through their various stage of development. Monarch eggs are placed in the cage containing several stalks of milkweed, the only plant they eat after they hatch into caterpillars. They remain caterpillars, happily chomping on the milkweed, for seven to 17 days. They then turn into a chrysalis and remain in that state for eight to 15 days. Their orange and black wings appear the day before they are born. Once they are out of the chrysalis, they are ready to stretch their wings and fly. It didn’t take long for the winged creatures to find the large bed of zinnias on the property and try their first sip of nectar. Monarchs that hatch in the spring and summer live for only two to six weeks. These monarchs, hatched in late summer, will likely live up to eight months and will migrate to Mexico for the winter. Gloria raises lots of milkweed on their property, but still has trouble keeping up with the demand of the hungry, hungry caterpillars. Michael Netscher watches as his granddaughter Ava Sanchez learns about monarchs from neighbor Gloria Flottmann. Gloria transfers a Monarch to Ava as Lexi and Evie Trest watch. The monarch soars above Evie’s head on its way to the flowers.

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