Finding New Zealand Butterflies

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Elizabeth 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #40768


    I am a member of the UK Butterfly Conservation: Sussex Branch and will be visiting New Zealand with my wife between 10th and 27th November this year. Most of our time will be spent in Northland, however we will also be spending some time near Hamilton. I would very much like to see N.Z. species of butterfly, particularly the Monarch, and would be grateful for information on good butterfly locations to visit, particularly in Northland.
    Douglas Neve

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  • #40805


    Hi Doug,

    It’s a pity you’ll be in Northland so early in the butterfly season, as after Christmas there will be an abundance of yellow admirals in the garden and a good chance of seeing a red too – as well as monarchs. I do have nettles in the garden for the admirals, and even though I do help them out during the season by taking the caterpillars indoors and releasing the butterflies outside afterwards, I don’t keep any in butterfly houses from season to season that you could see. So far this season I have only caught sight of one yellow admiral in the garden, and no caterpillars that I can see so far on the nettle patches.
    I live half an hour from Whangarei, near Parua Bay, so if you were in the area you are welcome to phone to see if the butterfly situation has improved any. My email is elizamber at hotmail dot com. (Edited so that bots hopefully don’t collect it and spam you, Elizabeth.)
    Of course you could contact a Junior school in the area – such as Parua Bay school – to see if they have any monarchs. Quite a few of these small schools do breed them for conservation education for the children. You could strike lucky, but it’s a bit hit and miss.
    Good luck anyway in your butterfly search!



    Hi Terry,

    Thank you your reply to my post. I will certainly follow your guidance during my visit to Northland next month. During a visit to N.Z. last year I only managed to see Common Blues and Small Whites, which of course are also common here in the U.K. Last October we had an influx of Small-tailed Blues on the south-east coast of England, however despite visiting several locations where they had been sightings, I didn’t see any. Hopefully, I will see this species in N.Z.
    Thanks again and regards,
    Doug Neve



    Hi Doug!

    On my visit to NZ back in the early 1990s I found common coppers and long tailed blues at Mangawhai heads under the cliffs near the beach, the coppers were flying around muehlenbeckia plants and the L,T,Blues around gorse. The Yellow Admiral can turn up almost anywhere but is normally located where nettles are growing. Nettles are hard to find in NZ so don’t expect it to be easy like it is in the UK. The Red Admiral I never saw on my vist but I am sure anywhere where there is forest with Urtica Ferox growing would help. Norm Twigge is the best person on this forum to give you tips on this species. I forgot to add I saw plenty of common blues in the Mangawhai area as well. They were the most common species apart from small whites which are everywhere. Monarchs turn up anywhere as well. Things may have changed since I was there as it was a long time ago.


    Black Robin

    Hi, dougneve,

    Hamilton public gardens will be an excellent place for you. you will at least see monarchs there.

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