A female Lesser Wanderer butterfly was caught

This topic contains 192 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  clinton9 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #15108

    clinton9
    Participant

    Today,

    I caught the female Lesser Wanderer butterfly in wasteland near Thames Refuse Transfer Station this afternoon.

    This late morning I were hunting for aussie butterflies and I went to retirement building by Richmond Rd and looked for butterflies, but no aussie butterflies.

    Then I went to wasteland by Refuse Transfer Station and looked for aussie butterflies, but I saw a red admiral butterfly and I went after it so I can get it to lay eggs on my potted nettle, but I lost it as it flew away north-westward toward sea. Then I biked eastward and when I stopped biking by a bench, to check for Aussie butterflies and suddenly I saw a Lesser Wanderer butterfly flying from dump, then I went after it, and swinged my $ 2 net at it…missed…it flew fast for 11 metres…then it dropped onto a long dead grass stalk…I swinged the net across the grass & caught the Lesser Wanderer butterfly.

    When I handled it carefully, I found tip of hind body were damaged…#@@# how little careless I were, as I was hoped to send eggs to Zac (nzwings), but only if butterfly is willing to lay eggs. Otherwise Zac have to accept a gift from me in form of a damaged butterfly. If it won’t lay eggs in few days time, I have to kill it and send the butterfly to Zac.

    The Lesser Wanderer butterfly is alive and in my smaller caterpillar castle with orange-flowered milkweed (swan plant).

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 192 total)
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  • #41741

    clinton9
    Participant

    North Island gone tropical ???????

    I were puzzled…firstly we had cold winter and spring, with 15 frosts in Thames during May to July, then few frosts remain down to November, then cold & wet weather in early December, then we have both Blue Moon butterflies and Lesser Wanderer butterflies here in NZ this month, following no cyclone.
    Maybe the Lesser Wanderer butterfly must been following the Jet Stream in clouds, to New Zealand, joined by 1 or 2 Blue Moon butterflies.
    Maybe the blue Moon butterfly must been overwintered here.

    I’m not going hunting for Aussie butterflies until after cyclone.

    #41737

    Zac Warren
    Participant

    Norms right, that sighting is indeed a lesser wanderer, it looks very fresh condition as well, may well be from eggs laid here because no weather patterns would suggest otherwise. There as was a report I was told about from norm of a blue moon seen in Hamilton, I don’t know if this is legit as no photo of the specimen, but considering blue moons are the size of a monarch yet nothing like it, it wouldn’t go unnoticed easily..

    #41733

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Just for you, Clinton:

    Sighting report

    #41704

    clinton9
    Participant

    I looked for a photo of Lesser Wanderer butterfly in https://www.monarch.org.nz/2015/01/18/new-plymouth-fitzroy-2015-01-18-110000/, but there is no photo.

    I think this Lesser Wanderer butterfly may be a Yellow Admiral butterfly.

    We did not had a cyclone yet, and weather had been fine and sunny for over 3 past weeks.

    #41703

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Just to set the record straight , I have seen the photograph taken in a New Plymouth garden of the reported Lesser Wanderer, and there is no doubt that’s what it is. The condition looks remarkably fresh.

    #41694

    clinton9
    Participant

    Cyclones means:

    Heavy rains

    Strong winds to gales

    Trees blow, felling onto ground.

    We are entering the peak cyclone season now, with Queensland, Australia had cyclone season 1st October to 30th April, with most cyclones happened between January and late April.

    #41693

    clinton9
    Participant

    Either this butterfly was a Yellow Admiral butterfly or an escaped Plain Tiger butterfly, from Butterfly House in Wellingtion.

    No wild Lesser Wanderer butterflies arrived to NZ yet as the cyclone was not been born yet and we did not have a storm and heavy rains yet in Thames, this month.

    Both Lesser Wanderer butterflies and Blue Moon butterflies in NZ usually turned to be Yellow Admiral butterflies.

    #41687

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Have had one sighting so far… not sure if it’s been “blown over” or actually overwintered here.

    New Plymouth / Fitzroy / 2015-01-18 11:00:00

    #41682

    milkweed
    Participant

    Norm and anybody else, have any lesser wanderers blown over to NZ from Aussie yet this summer season January 2015?

    #31113

    clinton9
    Participant

    I were very lucky to had reared caterpillars of Painted Lady butterflies on 1998. I reared caterpillars indoor because of bloodthristy Asian paper wasps.

    I had photoed adult Painted Lady butterflies, alone with their suitable foodplants…cudweeds.

    But I were not lucky to catch Blue moon butterflies on 1995, as I had never caught them in Hamilton, until 2 years ago in Thames when I caught my first female Blue moon butterfly.

    Asian paper wasps are main cause of why no NZ-bred Painted butterflies during January to March,anymore, along with disappearance of Grapevine moths which used to been common here during summertime, but now extinct.
    During 1998 I had seen Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars fell prey to Asian paper wasps.

    #31111

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. A new season has started and who knows what may eventuate. Terry you are right, I have been on the lookout for years for a Painted Lady and back in 1998 there was a large number occurred following high winds from Australia. I caught one in my back yard and three others down by the river during the next 2 days, three were males and one female, all placed in the somewhat basic shade house at that time. Hopes on getting some eggs were high until I went out the next morning and found the female completely wrapped up in spiders silk. That was my first experience of spiders as predators, and now go to some lengths now to ensure the butterfly house is free of spiders, or as free as one can make it.
    But I guess I have made butterfly enthusiasts in NZ aware of the fact that the Australian migrants that arrive here are possible to breed from. As milkweed states …. onward and upward …. and as one door closes another opens.

    #31109

    clinton9
    Participant

    I will start to hunt for cyclone-blew lesser wanderer butterflies after summer cyclones.

    Cyclone easy to understand…a very very heavy rains for hours a day and stronger gales during January to May.

    If you know the cyclone is coming toward NZ…Please alert me, so I will be look out for lesser wanderer butterflies.

    If I catch 2 or 3 butterflies, Norm will be able to breed healthy butterflies, so no inbreeding.

    Time you get your nets checked for damages & fixed, be ready by January.

    I had not seen Australian Painted Lady butterflies since 1999.
    I had caught a Meadow Argus butterfly, female Blue Moon butterfly and lot of Lesser Wanderer butterflies in Thames, before.

    #31108

    Anna
    Participant

    Thanks to you Norm, we have all learnt a lot from your observations. I for one am going to keep a keen eye out for any lesser wanderers that may turn up here over summer, and will send them up to you so you can continue on.

    ps/I have found it frustrating at times to have ovipositing Red Admiral females, with plenty of males around, but not interested in pairing!

    At the same time Yellow Admirals pair very easily.

    Gum Emperor moths seem as hit and miss as Red Admirals….I have had approx 25 males/females eclose, but only one successful pairing…(and now have over 100 caterpillars from that at present….thankfully)

    #31105

    Terry
    Moderator

    Really bad luck that Norm, you nearly made it!

    If you get another good year for Lesser Wanderer migrants then give it another go, the experience gained from the first attempt can be adapted on the second.

    Maybe you will be lucky and get some Vanessa Kershawi, I know you have been looking out for this migrant over the years. I reckon you would succeed in getting them through the winter and they are very prolific breeders like most migrant Nymphalidae

    Then again, I am sure the Red and Yellow Admirals will benefit from the extra attention they will now be getting.

    #31104

    milkweed
    Participant

    Bugger. To have come so far is heartbreaking. Onwards and upwards I guess as more Lesser Wanderers could be coming our way during the next few months! Well done Norm! It was great to read of your crusade!

    #31103

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Good on you, Norm, for your efforts. We have all appreciated the ones you have shared with us – and also learning from you in your attempts.

    #31102

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Unfortunately the Lesser Wanderers have reached the end of the road, although the last two females were ovipositing there was no pairing as the 120+ eggs that were deposited all turned out to be infertile, and collapsed one by one. Hand-pairing was resorted to with the last two males, and having successfully hand-paired monarchs I thought this may be a chance, but the males just would not respond, despite the females being receptive. My ambition was to try for a fifth generation which would result in adults at a time when the Australian migrant Lesser Wanderers are seen in NZ and the possibiblty of new blood, but it wasn’t to be. Sorry to those who were looking forward to receiving some of the 5th generation caterpillars to rear, it was always a gamble and I feel privileged to have reared 4 generations of a sub-tropical butterfly during the last 10 months and through the winter to boot. The records I have kept are a valuable source of information for rearing the species and will be available to anyone fortunate enough to catch a gravid female this season. So it is now back to the Red and Yellow Admirals with a vengeance as they have been very much on the back burner.

    #30951

    Terry
    Moderator

    Thanks Norm!
    I agree that there are many variables within the subject of inbreeding and genetics in general. My good friend Jeff Boswell used to study the Swallowtail family and used to hand pair many varieties to investigate genetic weaknesses caused by hybridisation. He was very successful but it took such a great deal of his time, so the project ended. However he read my last post on this thread and although he is not a forum member asked me to post the following.

    “I agree with Terry 100%. Inbreeding may affect some species but he’s right about many colonial species falling to just a few individuals in bad years and coming back when conditions improve. I can personally vouch for Terry’s stock of Bassaris itea. I gave him his first dozen larvae and his stock has been kept going from that dozen for 15 years. It is disease in most cases that causes a stock to weaken. Terry’s discovery that Domestos works to sterilise ova is a very important one. For itea at least it works!” Jeff Boswell UK.

    Jeff, like Bernie, also had contact with Sir Cyril Clark and he kindly sent Jeff copies of all his research papers on genetics so he could study them.

    I suppose the only way to find out for sure about inbreeding weakness is if I were to get some danaus chrysippus and use the sterilisation technique on them, but to be totally honest I hardly have the time to keep the Yellow Admirals going so it will have to wait, unless of course someone else reads this thread and carries out the experiment for us.

    #30948

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Thanks Anna, and you are right about Red Admirals being more reserved in their mating, while the yellows are full on. Reds and Yellows are as different as chalk and cheese in many aspects.
    Terry I agree with your comments generally, but I think the Yellow Admirals are a far hardier breed, and I think you started with several adults which would give a more diverse gene pool than the one solitary female I had. The disease would have been the main problem for sure, some years back I reared larvae from one Yellow Admiral’s eggs and continued the line on for 12 months without fresh stock, from memeory that would have been four generations. The third generation developed a disease which I now know was wilt, and many larvae were lost, but the ones that survived carried on to pupate and emerge as healthy adults which paired and produced another generation. But none of the adults developed syptoms the my L.W.’s have had, all were perfectly robust. Perhaps the
    Yellows are not affected much by inbreeding, or perhaps the large number you breed counters the effect, but international butterfly breeders, some with 55 years experience and breeding large numbers and varieties of butterflies for commercial purposes maintain that inbreeding is one of the big problems. Which all goes to show of course that there are many variables and still much to learn, and I think your suggestion of someone in NZ breeding exclusively with the original stock is a good one.

    #30939

    Anna
    Participant

    fingers crossed Norm that they will pair successfully!

    Its really frustrating when they don’t seem interested. (I find Red Admirals are a lot slacker than my Yellow Admirals who pair at any opportunity) Its a pity there wasn’t a pheramone (sp) spray available to rev them up a bit.

    Good on you for the work you have done with them so far.

    #30937

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Norm

    You state in your post that Butterfly genetics indicate that inbreeding will show corruption by the third generation but this leaves open the question, how come my Yellow Admirals have been inbred for 15 years and are still doing well? It is well known that some species could be affected by inbreeding but I know of a few tiny colonies of Common Blue locally that occur in very small compact areas well away from other colonies and they seem to be OK year on year even though some years only a handful of individuals are seen. My Yellow Admirals have on occasion fallen as low as 7 individuals. This post is not intended as a criticism of your statement but merely an observation that not all information given as fact by scientists is actually proven or well researched. My theory and it is still just that “a theory”, is that disease build up in captive stock is responsible for deformities, because when I started sterilisation of butterfly eggs my problems with so called inbreeding fell away substantially. A clean gene pool also helps to keep stock going for many generations without problems so maybe that’s where I just got extra lucky! It would be interesting if someone in NZ would try captive breeding using my methods without allowing outside wild stock into the original stock and see what the results are

    #30936

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hang in there, Norm! If anyone can do it YOU CAN!

    #30935

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    Well the update is – – – unsure. The winter was hard going, the room heated to butterfly temperatures meant the potted plants dried out quickly in the cages and had to kept moist to maintain healthy leaves, which in itself created extra humidity, and some of the larvae suffered and succumbed to disease. The arrival of spring and warmer temperatures meant the larvae were transferred to the butterfly house and the larvae matured and started pupating, but a few of them failed to complete the shedding of the skin and were lost. Of the ones that successfully pupated some turned a grey colour which was indicative of O.e. and of the ones that completed pupation not all were safe as a few lost their grip when emerging and dropped, only a short distance, but they landed upside down and could not right themselves, and by the time I found them it was too late for the wings to expand properly.
    Seven emerged successfully with one being deformed, so I have three females and three males. The last generation produced 40 butterflies but only 2 pairs mated. Attempts at handpairing with the latest adults has produced no results as
    yet. Butterfly genetics indicate that inbreeding (pairing brothers and sisters) will show corruption by the third generation, and my fourth generation has some adults with split proboscis which fail to knit together, weak adults unable to hold on to the plants, and generally lethargic are all classic syptoms of inbreeding. But on the positive side two of the females are very lively and active, as are two of the males, so although things are running close to the wire I am still cautiously optimistic that a pairing will come.

    #30879

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Yes, Norm, come on! Would love an update.

    Brian – I’ve just read your post, don’t know how I could have overlooked it earlier. 🙂 Very amusing!! 🙂

    #30878

    milkweed
    Participant

    Norm, whats happening with the Lesser Wanderers lately?

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