Eggs disappear

This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Roysie 1 year, 4 months ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #51867

    Roysie
    Participant

    I have 16 big plants in Torbay Auckland and dozens of eggs are laid daily but every morning they are gone and no caterpillars result…there are very very few wasps or mantises or ladybugs…any ideas what might be the predator?

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #51943

    Roysie
    Participant

    Hi
    Tx Pedro and Jacqui…..I have netted a big plant and have some baby grubs indoors doin ok…and very many eggs on other plants now surviving well and even hatching…….butterflies are even laying eggs on the net of the netted plants…my problem may have been wasps, and since weather has been cloudy for a bit they may be staying home…is one theory….we’ll see what happens when weather gets sunny again….still not really clear what eats the eggs if anything.Need a full time researcher.

    #51940

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hello Pedro

    Good to hear that you have identified the issue One thing we have tried before with ants is pushing a wrap around the bottom of the stem like a bandage and coating that with sticky stuff so the ants can’t get over it From memory I think I used Vasoline You also have to make sure that the plant itself isn’t touching something else like a deck etc. you could also put an A. any bait Next to the wrap barrier

    Please keep us in the loop of how you get on

    Jacqui

    #51934

    Pedropackman
    Participant

    Hi Roisie

    I expect you read my contribution. Have discovered the culprits are Argentine sugar ants which are quite vicious meat eaters when in the mood. Seems they love Monarch eggs and very small caterpillars which they carry off to their nests.

    #51933

    Pedropackman
    Participant

    Yes. It is the sugar ants. They are quite carniverous at times. My neighbour has an avenue of beautiful luxurient swan plants higher than me and not a caterpiller over 4mm. Lots of eggs that pretty well all disappear overnight. Her property is also about a hectare with probably a billion ants – same as me – so I think we have lost this one in the meantime. Hope this problem doesn’t spread.

    #51932

    Pedropackman
    Participant

    Well Jacqui. In my 1 hectare garden I probably have around 1,000 lady bugs on any given day. Perhaps you could suggest how I could catch them. Also they fly well and travel around here quite a lot. I already described there are present at least five varieties of lady bugs.
    Have just been researching. It is ants. A common problem in many places around the world and in North America they gobble up the Monarch eggs. Also humming birds but at least we don’t have them.
    So now we know at last. As I previously mentioned, I did witness one ant take an egg last year. These are the Argentine sugar ant. A pity they arrived as they are rapidly taking over the country and also feast of nectar.

    #51910

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Yes Pedro – that might be the problem. If you have no aphids… try and relocate the ladybirds to a garden “down the road” and see if that makes a difference. 🙂

    #51909

    Pedropackman
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    Forgot to say aphids have also virtually disappeared. Had lots of lady bugs, the common orange one with black spots, The brown one with yellow spots and the little jewel like metallic deep green ones.
    Thats why I suspected them because the did such a good job on aphids, I thought that when the aphids had been gobbled up they may have developed a taste for the monarch eggs.

    #51908

    Pedropackman
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui. Not what you suggest. No assassin bugs here any more either as there are no caterpillars. Those critters even killed and ate the very largest caterpillars. Probably the deadliest predator after paper wasps which have also disappeared through lack of edible caterpillars. As I said, eggs disappear and caterpillars grow never more that about 2mm.
    Will spend some hours at my neighbours plants where she has exactly the same problem.
    Actually, there is a student staying next door. Will ask him to study the eggs and 2mm caterpillars for a few days. Maybe offer him $50 if he can discover the culprit. Am scraping by on my super otherwise I would put him on a hefty payroll with a good camera.

    #51904

    Roysie
    Participant

    Hi

    Eggs seem not to be disappearing now and I don’t know why…

    I doubt very much the problem is wasps as there are so very few around. Nobody believes me though so I am keeping a plant inside and putting any tiny new caterpillars on it to keep them safe, and yesterday I covered one of my large plants in netting so if there are wasps they will not be getting those eggs. We’ll see what happens. I do not have lady bugs nor shield beetles nor mantises nor aphids and very few ants. There are skinks though. My neighbour also has a swan plant with eggs that disappear, and no caterpillars: this is very common I think so finding out what is going on is important if we want to increase monarchs. Maybe there is some entomologist somewhere who knows.

    #51884

    Roysie
    Participant

    Well i do appreciate such a thoughtful reply…tx…right now i have dozens of eggs, the predator ?? has stopped eating them for now…i guess its a question of how hard i want to work on it…dont have ants or ladybugs or mantises and very few wasps…so still unclear..so far….
    RoyZ

    #51883

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hi Pedro

    Your post is interesting! Ladybirds (or ladybugs) usually feed on aphids and are very efficient at cleaning up large populations of aphids. Do you have aphids?

    Would it be possible for you to post an image of one of the ladybugs for us?

    It occurred to me that perhaps your “ladybugs” are actually the green shield bug, the earlier instar larva due look like ladybugs. They are often referred to as “beetles” too. If this is wrong, could we have pictures or a description of the insect which you do have on your plants, please?

    Green Stink Bug

    More information: Green Shield Bugs

    Early instar larva:

    Early instar stink bug larva

    There are also assassin bugs with sucking mouth probes which will eat caterpillars too.

    Hope we can be of help in identifying the culprit!

    Jacqui

    #51882

    Pedropackman
    Participant

    I have had this problem here in Kuaotunu for the last 4 years and have given up planting swan plants that quickly took over parts of my property. Whatever it is it is super efficient and takes not only eggs but all caterpillars before they reach 2mm.
    Certainly not wasps as I have never seen a wasp take caterpillars of less than about 4 or 5 mm. Before this problem, I found it easy to control the wasps sufficiently to have plenty of caterpillars.
    I have spent a lot of time watching and the only possibilities are sugar ants and lady bugs both of which constantly patrol the plants. I have actually seen one ant take an egg so tried plants with moats. This briefly worked but I believe one of the several varieties of lady bug here are the culprits.

    #51870

    rob cooper
    Participant

    paper wasp i would say

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.