Is the monarch caterpillar dead?

by Rebecca

One of our monarchs started pupating and only got a third of the way. It's hanging there with most of the skin still on with a small portion of chrysalis exposed. It's been like this for a couple of days. Is this one dead? I'm wondering if I should remove it in case it was diseased and may affect the other cats I have in my cage.

Karen says:
Sounds like it could be Nuclear polyhedrosis virus. A very common sign of this is failure of the larva to fully pupate. I would carefully remove the caterpillar and make sure and sterilize your equipment as soon as you safely can with a 20% bleach solution.

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oh no -
by: Rebecca

We have 4 black swallowtail cats in the same enclosure and 2 chrysalises (one monarch and one black swallowtail). Are they all at risk?

Karen says:
Possibly, but hopefully not. There is probably nothing you can do about the chrysalis, but maybe you could move the swallowtail caterpillars to a different enclosure. If you are lucky, maybe they will not be affected. You will just have to wait and see. When you are finished, make sure and sterilize all of your enclosures.

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