A butterfly who's wings aren't unfolding after two days.

by Rose

In a plastic container eating

In a plastic container eating

I have a newly hatched monarch butterfly. He has been hatched for 2 days now and his wings have still not unfolded fully. One is almost open fully and the other is still folded in half. He tries to fly often and ends up falling right back down again. I've been feeding him with the milkweed flowers and he seems to be getting stronger, but his wings still haven't unfolded?
What should I do about this??

Karen says:
It sounds like your monarch has a parasite problem called OE or Ophryocystis elektroscirrha. This parasite is spread from spores on the milkweed to caterpillar and then pupa and also from the monarch butterfly to the egg or onto the milkweed. Monarchs that emerge with OE often have wings which are weak and aren't properly formed along with other problems and usually die.

If you had the caterpillar or chrysalis inside your house and used any container to hold it, make sure and sterilize with a 20% bleach solution, otherwise the spores could spread and infect any future monarchs that you raise.

Here is a link which tells about OE:

Ophryocystis elektroscirrha

You can try and continue to feed the butterfly (gaterade or juicy juice are OK or the milkweed flower is fine). I hope this helps.

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