Tiny Tim is our “Special Needs” Monarch Butterfly. He is one of the five(5) of our second batch of sixteen(16) Monarchs. More on the others later; this is Tiny Tim’s Story.
Good Morning and Happy 4th of July. The day started off just as any other in the live of a Monarch Butterfly Rancher. We have five(5) Chrysalis hanging in the “outdoor habitat” and five(5) in the “indoor habitat.” These fellas did not get the predawn start of their six(6) predecessors from yesterday; they waited for sunrise. One by one they begin to emerge. It is such an awesome feeling/sensation watching a Monarch emerge from his Chrysalis(video if you wish). Actually, for us Monarch Wranglers, we get a thrill from each aspect and stage of a Monarch Butterfly life cycle: Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis, Butterfly.
Well now number 5; he climbed out of his shell and began the process of filling his wings. Oh NO! part way through he stopped: his wings are partially filled and partially wrinkled and folded. His “Abdomen”(lower body/tail) and “Thorax” (upper body) are enlarged. He does not fly; however, he tries. He flaps his wings and flutters unguided. He can climb. We moved him to the “indoor habitat” and placed him on a flowering plant. He moves around and usually and often falls to the floor of the habitat. We will move him back to the flowers several times during the day.
Our Director of Research and Information, Mom, found and article in one of our books about hand feeding. Tiny appears healthy with the exception of his underdeveloped malformed wings. We are “bottle feeding” him some during the day; just to help insure that he is getting enough nourishment.
We hope to have Tiny Tim around for a long time.