Last fall I raised two monarch caterpillars named Maddowpillar and Lambchop. This week my daughter and I found three more caterpillars on a tiny patch of milkweed (which somehow escaped a weed whacker) near a church fence in Nutley, NJ. They are nestled in a shoebox and munching away.
There is a big difference between these new, nameless caterpillars and the ones we raised in the fall. Monarchs go through four generations in a year. These little guys are part of Generation 3. They will become butterflies in a few weeks, then they will only live a few weeks after that--just long enough to find mates and lay the eggs for Generation 4. That generation is the one that does something miraculous--they migrate thousands of miles to Mexico, hibernating for the winter, then flying back north again to lay the eggs for Generation 1.
So, these three have a big responsibility--to raise the generation that keeps their species alive. Help me name them, will you?