TNT Bottoming Indicator - Daily		
Date	DailyLows	SP500
1/23/23	       1	          4020
1/24/23	      -0.5	          4017
1/25/23	      -0.33	          4016
1/26/23	      -1.83	          4060
1/27/23	       0.67	          4071
TNT Bottoming Indicator - Weekly		
Date	WeeklyLows	SP500
1/13/23	       -0.4	          3999
1/20/23	        0.2	          3973
1/27/23	        2.2	          4071
TNT Topping Indicator - Weekly		
Date	WeeklyTops	SP500
1/13/23	        3.6	          3999
1/20/23	        3.8	          3973
1/27/23	        4.0	          4071
TNT Bottoming Indicator - Daily		
Date	DailyLows	SP500
1/17/23	        1.83	          3991
1/18/23	       -0.33	          3929
1/19/23	       -1.33	          3899
1/20/23	        0.50	          3973
TNT Bottoming Indicator - Weekly		
Date	WeeklyLows	SP500
1/6/23	       -3.6	          3895
1/13/23	       -0.4	          3999
1/20/23	        0.2	          3973
TNT Topping Indicator - Weekly		
Date	WeeklyTops	SP500
1/6/23	        3.0	          3895
1/13/23	        3.6	          3999
1/20/23	        3.8	          3973
TNT Bottoming Indicator - Daily		
Date	DailyLows	SP500
1/3/23	        0.67	          3892
1/4/23	        1.33	          3919
1/5/23	        0.33	          3970
1/6/23	       -0.5	          3983
1/13/23	        0.01	          3999
TNT Bottoming Indicator - Weekly		
Date	WeeklyLows	SP500
12/30/22	-0.4	          3840
1/6/23	        -3.6	          3895
1/13/23	        -0.4	          3999
TNT Topping Indicator - Weekly		
Date	WeeklyTops	SP500
12/30/22	 2.2	          3840
1/6/23	         3.0	          3895
1/13/23	         3.6	          3999

TACHNID FLY CHARACTERISTICS

If you see a caterpillar fall off a plant and begin to squirm violently – it has just been hit by a tachnid.
Tragically, the caterpillar is doomed, but you have a chance to kill the tachnid fly.
Wait patiently for a few minutes, swat the fly if you see it.

When tachnid larva emerge from a dead caterpillar, they will attempt to burrow into the soil or hide under a pot. Once hidden, they turn into a reddish-brown, hard-shell pupa, and, after about 5 days, they emerge as an adult fly.

The only soil in the refuge cage should be in the milkweed plant pots.

Your refuge cage must not provide places for tachnid larva to hide.

Tachnid flies have red eyes, are slightly smaller than a housefly.

Tachnids don’t fly at night.

Get a supply of long-handled fly swatters, and scatter them throughout your sanctuary. Look for tachnids on flat white surfaces, often at the edge of shadow and light. They also seem to be attracted to a sprinkle of water on a white surface.

On a hot day, tachnids will cluster on the north side of a building, often in an alcove or on a door. They are slow when hot.

SALVAGE TACTICS

Salvage a fallen chrysalis:
If a chrysalis has fallen, it can be salvaged.
At the top of the chrysalis is a tiny black stem, about one millimeter in length.
Use DENTAL FLOSS. Thread will not work: thread will cut thru the stem.
Get a length of DENTAL FLOSS.
Create a single square knot in the middle of the length of DENTAL FLOSS.
Carefully tighten the knot around the stem
Use the two ends of the DENTAL FLOSS to suspend the floss and chrysalis from a plant.

If the stem if damaged while you attempt to tie the knot around it, there is still a way to suspend the chrysalis.
Get a length of DENTAL FLOSS.
Create a lump in the middle of the length by tying many square knots, one on top of the next.
Then, place a tiny drop of superglue on the lump of square knots.
Then, gently press the top of the chrysalis against the tiny drop of glue.
Wait for the glue to dry, then use the two ends of the DENTAL FLOSS to suspend the floss and chrysalis from a plant.

Salvage milkweed plants from aphids and milkweed bugs:
Aphids and milkweed bugs appear when milkweed plants get leggy and sprout seed pods.
You must trim gradually trim back leggy plants, and trim away seed pods.
The aphids and milkweed bugs will be temporarily inhibited from feeding on the trimmed milkweeds.

Salvage caterpillars from the heat:
Caterpillars do not tolerate heat.
Position the your refuge cage in partial shade.
Consider placing a cap of sunscreen cloth over the outside top of the refuge cage.

REFUGE CAGE

CAGES
Buy and use mesh cages to protect your caterpillars. The best kind will have a fine mesh screen. Get cages that have a flexible cable framework, similar to the fold-up sunscreens that are used in front windows of cars. A cage with fine mesh screening and a flexible cable framework will take literally 3 seconds to deploy.
DON’T rig up a do-it-yourself version of a cage: you will waste a lot of time, lose a lot of caterpillars, and expend much more effort than you needed to.The configuration that works is: milkweed plants, in their original pots, raised in fine-mesh-flexible-frame cages. Please just accept this advice, since it is the product of many hours of trial-and-error.

Do a search on these terms: mesh cage butterfly.
Some brand names are Restcloud, Qingo, Miraclekoo, Ueetek, Trasfit, Oxel, Petforu.
A cage of 36 inches is ideal.
When you see an newly-emerged adult fluttering around: open the cage door and let the butterfly go.

REFUGE CAGE
When you find a tiny caterpillar, bring it to the refuge cage and place it on a milkweed plant.
–The refuge cage protects the caterpillars against the tachnid flies. Out in the open, the caterpillars have little defense against the tachnids. Once a caterpillar is stung by a tachnid fly, it is doomed.
–The refuge cage protects caterpillars against multiple garden enemies, such as ants, lizards, praying mantii, and birds.
–The refuge cage keeps the growing caterpillars in a confined space, so that, if they fall off the milkweed plant they can easily crawl back onto the milkweed. Out in the open, if a caterpillar falls off a milkweed plant, it will wander off looking for another milkweed plant to climb onto, but oftentimes the caterpillar will be lost. On the other hand, if a caterpillar leaves a milkweed plant in the refuge cage, the caterpillar can be easily repositioned onto the plant.
–The inside of the top of the refuge cage provides a great spot for the full-grown caterpillars to attach to when they decide to turn into a chrysalis. In the wild, the full-grown caterpillars will leave the milkweed plant and crawl up to 40 feet away, then crawl up onto a structure or plant to find a place to turn into a chrysalis. This journey makes them very vulnerable to attack by multiple adversaries.
–The refuge cage protects newly-emerged female Monarchs from overly-aggressive male suitors. The newly-emerged female Monarch needs several hours to deploy her wings. If she is disturbed during this phase, her wings will not fully expand, her wings will remain crinkled, and she will never be able to fly.
–The refuge cage can be easily protected from the summer sunlight: get a swath of sunscreen cloth, fashioned into a cap, and placed over the top of the refuge cage. Developing Monarchs, from egg thru young adult, do not tolerate temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They become dehydrated, turn dark, and die.

REFUGE CAGES ARE FRAGILE
If a mesh cage is full of potted milkweeds, it CANNOT be dragged to a new location. The dragging causes rips in the undersurface of the cage. To move a refuge cage, first remove the stone weights and milkweed pots, then carry it to its new location. Whenever you open a refuge cage, do it at night, when tachnid flies are not active,

MONARCH REARING MAIN POINTS

REFUGE CAGE
You need to protect young caterpillars in a refuge cage. Believe me when I say, there is only one design that works: a mesh cage that can be unfolded and deployed in a matter of seconds.
DON’T rig up a do-it-yourself version of a cage: you will waste a lot of time, lose a lot of caterpillars, and expend much more effort than you needed to.The configuration that works is: milkweed plants, kept in their original pots, raised in fine-mesh-flexible-frame cages. Please just accept this advice, since it is the product of many hours of trial-and-error.
Do a search on these terms: mesh cage butterfly.
Some brand names for mesh cages are Restcloud, Qingo, Miraclekoo, Ueetek, Trasfit, Oxel, Petforu.
A cage of 36 inches is ideal.
When you see an newly-emerged adult fluttering around: open the cage door and let the butterfly go.

TACHNIDS DON’T FLY AT NIGHT
Only open the refuge cage at night, which is when tachnid flies are not active. If you open the refuge cage during the day, and a single tachnid fly gets into your refuge cage, it will kill all the caterpillars.

ANCHOR YOUR REFUGE CAGES
Use flat rocks or flat concrete stepping stones to weigh down your refuge cages. If you don’t, a gust of wind could blow the cage over, and the hanging chrysalises will be disrupted and die. Don’t clutter your refuge cage.

DONT GIVE TACHNID LARVA ANYPLACE TO HIDE
Tachnid larva growing inside a caterpiller will wait until the caterpillar turns into a ‘hanging J’. Then, the larva will burst out, slide down a thin thread, fall to the bottom of the refuge cage, then try to slide under a pot or dig into dirt. If the larva finds a place to hide in your refuge cage, it will emerge in a few days as a tachnid fly, and the fly will proceed to kill all your caterpillars. Keep the refuge cage uncluttered. A refuge cage should contain only one or two stepping stones to anchor it, and the pots which hold the milkweed plants.

DON’T BUY MILKWEED PLANTS THAT HAVE BEEN TREATED WITH INSECTICIDE
At the nursery, look for milkweeds that have caterpillars crawling around on them, and look for Monarch adults flying around. If you don’t see any caterpillars or adult butterflies, then assume that the milkweeds have been treated with insecticide. Don’t buy these contaminated milkweeds, no matter how good they look at the nursery.

EVERY STRING DANGLING FROM A DEAD CHRYSALIS MEANS THERE IS A TACHNID LARVA LOOSE IN YOUR REFUGE CAGE
If you see strings dangling from a chrysalis, take the chrysalis out of the refuge cage immediately and dispose of it somewhere away from your yard. Then, you need to find one larva for each and every string that you saw hanging from the dead chrysalis. You really shouldn’t have any difficulty distinguishing a tachnid larva from an early-stage caterpillar: the Monarch caterpillars have 2 cute little black antennas. The tachnid larve are slug-like and move like inchworms.

MONARCH NURSERY

Leave newly-purchased milkweeds in their original pots.
Transplanted milkweeds will often die within a couple of days.

If you insist on transplanting milkweeds:
the best soil for milkweed plants is:
three-quarters composting soil
one-quarter dirt from your yard

If you insist on transplanting milkweeds:
Don’t use an excessive amount of fertilizer.
Too much fertilizer attracts ants.
Ants, at the very least, irritate the caterpillars.

Distressed Adult Monarchs:
Newly-emerged adults may need a long time to fully deploy.
Newly-emerged adults will not be able to fly in cold weather.
It may be necessary to put a distressed new adult on a potted milkweed.and bring it indoors.
Adults will stay quiet at night on the potted milkweed if the room is dark
Newly-emerged adult Monarchs can go at least 48 hrs without eating.
If you offer a sugar-water mixture that is too concentrated, adults will not be able to suck it in.
The concentration of sugar water should be one TEASPOON to one CUP of water
Place a tiny drop of the sugar/water on each of the open flowers of the potted milkweed

Which milkweed is best:
Some literature says that using the milkweed ‘cassaivea’ is not good because it carries a virus.
These sources say that it is best to use native California milkweed

Beware of California milkweed seeds
Usually, these seeds have been treated with insecticide.
The plants that these seeds produce will kill caterpillars.

MONARCH NOTES

Mildweed pointers:
Milkweed plants need to be watered daily in the summer sun of Southern California.
If not watered, they will droop in 24 hrs, and die in 48 hrs.

Yellow leaves on the milkweed
I’ll get to the causes in a minute, but more importantly: here is the cure for yellow leaves:
trim the wilkweed back somewhat, and give it some water.
Yellow leaves in the LOWER parts is a sure sign that the milkweed has matured and is deleting itself.
Yellow leaves in the LOWER parts of the milkweed plant is NOT a sign of overwatering.
Yellow leaves in the LOWER parts of the milkweed plant is NOT some kind of plant virus or disease.
Don’t bother removing the yellow leaves from the LOWER parts of the milkweed, they are about to fall off anyway.

Yellow leaves ALL OVER the milkweed can be due to aphids, which are sucking fluid out of the plant.
Yellow leaves ALL OVER the milkweed, along with drooping, are signs that the plant needs water.

Tachnid flies:
When tachnid larva emerge from a dead caterpillar, they will attempt to burrow into the soil or hide under a pot or rock. Once hidden, the tachnid larva will turn into a reddish-brown coffee-bean pupa, from which a tachnid fly will emerge in about five days. Even one tachnid fly could destroy all the caterpillars in your refuge cage.

Don’t give tachnid larva any where to hide in your refuge cage!!
In addition, keep your refuge cage uncluttered so the tachnid larva have nowhere to hide.

Look for tachnid flies on flat white surfaces, at the edge of shadow and light. They seem to be attracted by a sprinkle of water on a white surface.

Caterpillars oftentimes rest on vertical surfaces, like on the sides of the mesh cages.
They are molting, so just leave them alone.
In this phase, they are vulnerable to attack from all sorts of predators, so protect them in a refuge cage.
When you see a caterpillar in a vertical position, take it to your refuge cage

Do a patrol of your milkweeds early in the morning, looking for little caterpillars on the milkweeds. Any caterpillar that is on a milkweed that is out in the open needs to be taken to your refuge cage. If you rescue the caterpillars early in the morning, the tachnid flies will not have had chance to strike them. Tachnids don’t fly at night, and it takes them a while to get started in the morning.

In the wild, when caterpillars are large enough, they crawl down off the milkweed plant and try to make it to the base of a vertical object, like a fence or tree. From there, they crawl up the vertical object, hoping to reach the underside of a ledge or leaf, to which they attempt to attach. Once they have cast their anchoring silk on the underside of the object, they turn into a hanging J, from which they become a chrysalis.

During the large caterpillar’s journey, if it gets on a big, featureless wall, it will just wander up and down. The large caterpillars are not able to maintain their orientation on a blank vertical surface. If you see a large caterpillar on a wall, just take it to the refuge cage. The inside aspect of the top of the refuge cage is a perfect spot for the large caterpillar to turn into a chrysalis.

Refuge cages:
Buy and use cages to protect your caterpillars. The best kind will have a fine mesh screen. Get cages that have a flexible cable framework, which act like the fold-up sunscreens used in front windows of cars. A cage with fine mesh screening and a flexible cable framework will take literally 3 seconds to set up. DON’T rig up a do-it-yourself version of a cage: you will waste a lot of time, lose a lot of caterpillars, and expend much more effort than you needed to.

The best environment for developing Monarchs is this: milkweed plants, in their original pots, placed in fine-mesh-flexible-frame cage. Please just accept this advice, since it is the product of many hours of trial-and-error.

The refuge cage protects the caterpillars from the tachnid flies. Out in the open, the caterpillars have little defense against the tachnids. Once a caterpillar is stung by a tachnid fly, it is doomed.

The refuge cage also protects caterpillars against multiple garden enemies, such as ants, lizards, praying mantii, and birds.

Another benefit of the refuge cage is that it keeps the growing caterpillars in a confined space, so that, if they fall off the milkweed plants, they can easily get back onto the milkweed plants. Out in the open, if a caterpillar falls off a milkweed, it will wander off looking for another milkweed plant to climb onto, but oftentimes the caterpillar will get lost. On the other hand, if a caterpillar falls off a milkweed plant in the refuge cage, the caterpillar can easily climb up the pot and back onto a milkweed plant.

The inside of the top of the refuge cage provides a great spot for the full-grown caterpillars to attach to when they decide to turn into a chrysalis. In the wild, the full-grown caterpillars will leave the milkweed plant and crawl up to 40 feet away, then crawl up onto a structure or plant to find a place to turn into a chrysalis. This journey makes them very vulnerable to attack by multiple adversaries.

Another benefit of the refuge cage is that it protects newly-emerged female Monarchs from overly-aggressive male suitors. The newly-emerged female Monarch needs several hours to deploy her wings. If she is disturbed during this phase, her wings will not fully expand, her wings will remain crinkled, and she will never be able to fly. The casual observer might surmise that the female Monarch butterfly with crinkled wings is a victim of OEM virus, while in fact she is the victim of an overly-aggressive male suitor.

Still another benefit of the refuge cage is that it can be configured to protect developing Monarchs from heat. In Southern California the summer heat can be intense. Developing Monarchs do not tolerate temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They become dehydrated, turn dark, and die. The refuge cage can be easily protected from the summer sunlight: get a swath of sunscreen cloth, fashion it into a cap, and place it over the outside of the top of the refuge cage. Use ziplock ties to attach the sunscreen to the outside of the top of the refuge cage.

You will need a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the caterpillar droppings that accumulate on the bottom of the refuge cage.
NEVER use a vacuum cleaner while you are wet or standing on a wet surface.

If the refuge cage is full of milkweed plants in pots, DON’T drag it to a new location. The dragging causes rips in the undersurface of the cage.