How to help the monarch butterflies to survive in winter

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  LeslieD 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #56766

    miranda8023
    Participant

    Hi, I had two chrysalis, one of them has became a butterfly a couple of days ago and staying in our garden, the other one will become a butterfly soon.

    How can I help both of them to survive in this winter? Is there anything I can do? Make a box?

    Thank you!

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  • #56916

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    I had two little disaster (wings totally crunched up but otherwise healthy) butterflys for 5 and 6 weeks respectively. One of them liked nectar and the other was a fan of watermelon or honeydew. the melon one was easy i’d just put a piece of fruit in a bowl or in his enclosure and put him on it and he would help himself if he wanted … which was not every day. The nectar lover was a bit harder but I tried putting nectar on the watermelon and put her on it too and it seemed to work ok. I’ve seen a photo from Fiona and she has a board with what looks like bottle tops imbedded that she fills with nectar and then she lines up the butterflys at their stations and lets them go for it, very cute :).

    #56915

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    It is not “ too cold “ to release them – Just let them go in the warmest part of the garden They may not fly away immediately but that is what that applies do if they emerged from the chrysalis where you hadn’t noticed them

    #56914

    Lynden
    Participant

    Has anyone had any luck teaching very late butterflies to feed themselves, as they do in insectariums at zoos? I have 22 in a collapsible cage, another 20 pupae, and a few last instar caterpillars. I put sliced fruit and honey water on a bright yellow sponge, on a plate high in the cage but they ignore it. It takes so long to feed them individually, but it is too cold to release them. Surely there is a better way?

    #56774

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Yes, just release your butterfly. They know what to do – they will find the nearest overwintering place – sheltered trees that previously monarchs have left pheromones in, so they know where to go. And if you grow flowering plants that offer nectar through the winter, on a fine day you might see it come back again.

    #56773

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    I release mine, apart from the two pet wrinkly winged ones I have that can never fly that is. I keep newly emerged butterflys until the weather is suitable. When they are completely dry I put them in a netted enclosure that shelters them from the worst of the wind and rain but allows them to adapt to the colder temperatures. they just hang on and sleep until the sun comes out. Then, if its been a few days I offer them nectar and then I take them to a sheltered place and put them on a launching pad well away from the road. Some will make it through the winter and of course some will not but that’s how it works. I’ve got about 9 chrysalids (2 due to emerge today) and about 10 bigger cats that should make it and then another 8 or so smaller cats that probably won’t make it. My 2 pet butterflys are about 5 weeks old now, I don’t know how long they will live but they are eating well.

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