This 1st instar Monarch Butterfly caterpillar is less than 1 day old. Having it's first meal of the discarded egg case, it is now feeding on the tiny hairs on the underside of the milkweed leaf. The dime laying on the leaf gives some sense of the size of the caterpillar. The numbers of eggs/caterpillars we are seeing is very encouraging compared to last summer when we saw very few monarchs at any stage in their life cycle. Offspring of this caterpillar will be making the trek to Mexico later this summer.
Photo: J. Ormiston 7/25/14