Caterpillar at pre-pupa stage detached due to strong winds

This topic contains 11 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Elizabeth_nz 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #15168

    Elizabeth_nz
    Participant

    HI everyone!!

    I have a question, strong winds detached a caterpillar in its pre-pupa stage, it was hanging in the J position :) I have it here with me, what can I do? shall I just leave it in some tissues and wait?… Thank you.

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  • #29813

    Elizabeth_nz
    Participant

    Thank you, Jacqui!

    #29812

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hi Elizabeth

    Give it a few hours… days even. And if you think its wings might need a little bit of redesign you can trim off the leading edge of the forewings, using scissors, and it will be able to fly. Of course you have to do them equally, I just hold the wings gently together and trim off the bent bits, then make sure the wing is nicely rounded… and they fly okay.

    Good luck with it.

    Jacqui

    #29811

    Elizabeth_nz
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for your help. The caterillar I rescued above is now a butterfly but doesn’t want to fly. One wing is a little bent at the top. Its been almost 5 hours since it was born :) How long do they take to fly? Also when the wings close together they don’t match up to each other, one seems to be higher than the other…. maybe I’m just being an anxious mother :D

    #29643

    Anna
    Participant

    You can line a small container with tissue/handy towel that reaches to the top of the container, then use a bit of cloth or muslin as a covering. The butterfly emerges, and crawls up to the cloth, and can hang there and complete its wings whilst hanging.

    #29637

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    No I think the problem with gluing a pre-pupa is that it may restrict the process of transferring the cremaster to the silk pad once the glue is set. Probably better to leave it on a piece of soft tissue.
    It may have been a weak individual and perhaps nature didn’t intend it to succeed, but keep fingers crossed.

    #29636

    Pepetuna
    Keymaster

    That’s really good to hear. So the PVA doesn’t harm them.

    It wouldn’t work with a pre-pupa though, do you think?

    #29634

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Just on a different note, when there is no silk on the cremaster of a fallen pupa, for a number of years I have used a small dob of PVA glue to attach the pupa on to a thread or piece of string with no resulting problems.

    #29629

    Elizabeth_nz
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your help, I will leave it then as it doesn’t have any silk on it. I hope it makes it. I’m a little sad I cannot help more.
    Thank you.
    Elizabeth.

    #29628

    Pepetuna
    Keymaster

    No, PVA would have volatile chemicals that might kill the pre-pupa. I use a hot-glue gun, so one has to be extremely careful not to burn the J-ing caterpillar when you are glueing up the silk onto a piece of cardboard or something. I think if your chappie has no silk, you might be better to just leave it lying down and hope for the best. As I said, sometimes they manage to complete pupation, but sometimes they don’t. If it does, it will probably have one flattish side. That’s OK. Just leave it on the tissue. If it has something to climb up so it can dry its wings, the butterfly could possibly emerge perfectly OK. I’ve had some that do. (But be prepared for it to fail)

    #29626

    Elizabeth_nz
    Participant

    Thank you for your quick response! There is no silk on the caterpillar, only on the leaf where it was attached, would that be ok to glue? What type of glue do you use? just the common white glue that childrens use for crafts?

    #29625

    Pepetuna
    Keymaster

    If the pre-pupa has some silk you can glue it up carefully and it will complete its pupation. I have done this successfully several times. But if it hasn’t got any silk to glue, I just leave them lying as you are doing, and sometimes they manage it and sometimes they don’t.

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