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Raising Monarchs Part 2

If you’ve been following Toys In The Dryer on social media, you know that the girls and I have been raising a monarch butterfly this summer. It has been a ton of fun and a definite learning experience!

raising monarchs

I ended my last post, Raising Monarchs Part 1 at day 5, the day after our caterpillar hatched from its egg. Only 15 days later, we had a full-grown caterpillar that was ready to make a chrysalis!

Raising monarchs

Though today is day 28, and our little monarch currently resides in it’s chrysalis, I will end this post at day 20 because the next phase deserves a post of it’s own. For those of you watching, waiting, and asking, yes, I WILL do a slide show of all the slides combined to show our caterpillar’s growth but I thought I’d wait until the very end to show the entire transformation. In the mean time, I’ll hit the highlights…

raising monarchs 2nd instar

Monarch caterpillars molt 4 times before molting one last time into their chrysalis. The stages between these molts are called instars and monarchs have 5 instar phases. On day 8, we were able to catch our caterpillar molting into it’s 2nd instar phase. After that, our little baby decided to hide and/or molt at night so we were unable to catch it.


I can, however, tell you when it molted into it’s 5th instar phase. It was July, 26–day 17. My personal Facebook status said I thought it had died and I was so worried!  I knew that caterpillars rest right before they molt but I thought it was only for a few hours. After 8 hours of no movement, I got super nervous. People told me not to worry, but I couldn’t help it. A little less than 24 hours later, Hubby texted me to let me know that our baby was still alive. I could not have been more relieved. (I still had a nightmare that night) Lesson learned, believe the website that tells you that your caterpillar is NOT dead, it’s just getting ready to molt!

Raising Monarchs

As best as I can tell, these are the days our caterpillar changed instar phases. So neat huh? I’m absolutely amazed at how fast these things grow!

Next official post will be about the chrysalis phase and releasing our butterfly! Can’t wait. In the mean time, get daily updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Read about part 3, the chrysalis and butterfly!


  1. Wow what a neat project, very fun to watch.

  2. OH wow! VEry cool! He is getting big!

  3. Ohmygoodness this is such a fun and exciting activity — I love it so much!

    (I adore that you’re archiving this! What fun to look back on and see!)

  4. That is SO cool! My boys would love it!

  5. Oh how cool! Thanks for sharing this.


  1. […] you can read Part 2, the caterpillar, and Part 3, the chrysalis and […]

  2. […] egg stage. However, if you are new to Toys In The Dryer, you can catch up with Part 1, the egg, and Part 2, the growing caterpillar, before you read this part 3, the chrysalis and release of our […]