What do I do if one of my monarchs is infected with OE spores?
What do I do if one of my monarchs is infected with OE spores? Should I still release it?
Please visit Project Monarch Health for information on Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) infections and how to monitor for this parasite. Since OE spores are not visible to the naked eye, diagnosis of OE requires a microscope or awaiting results back from Project Monarch Health. And since OE is a naturally occurring parasite, it is recommended that all monarchs be released if they appear healthy, as long as your rearing operation follows the best practices for minimizing the spread of disease. In cases where monarchs likely have OE and emerge with crumpled wings and deformed body parts, we do not recommend releasing them. Butterflies that cannot fly on their own should not be kept in rearing containers as they are likely spreading OE spores throughout the container or environment, and will likely increase the spread of the parasite to other monarchs you are currently rearing or that you rear in the future. Euthanizing heavily infected and deformed adults is recommended to minimize disease transfer to your containers or other monarchs. Thoroughly sanitizing rearing containers between each monarch, and preventing adults and larvae from occupying a shared container will help prevent disease spread. You may euthanize your monarch humanely by placing it in the freezer.