Where are the monarchs?

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  amyellis529 1 week ago.

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    Topic
  • #53948

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    We are hearing many people asking “where are the monarchs” this season… Are YOU concerned?

    If you are – you can help us raise awareness and concern. Here’s how:

    On the next “fine” day (no good if it’s very wet) when you are outside and you see other insects such as bees, bumble bees flying, take a note of whether you see any monarchs.

    When you are near your computer, please report what you saw or didn’t see in to http://www.mb.org.nz. This will help us quantify whether the issue is just local or regional or… something else.

    Thanks! And feel free to share this important message please.

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
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  • #54117

    amyellis529
    Participant

    two healthy males drying out yesterday in the garden and two that are on their way. Quite windy and rainy this week so one is hanging around in shelter. Last year my plants were covered in eggs so far only 4 . I had a wasp attack which at my last count stole 3 cats before I had a chance to net it. Leaving plants in open hoping to attract some more.

    #54100

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    Hi Caryl, I got my female too today. Both Romeo and Juliette have flown off lol. Very hot here. Wow 116 ! I only have another two chrysalids at this stage, they will be late this week or early next week I think. Then I’ll have a big gap. But my outdoor plants are showing lots of littlies now.

    #54097

    Caryl
    Moderator

    Hi Leslie, Wonderful news. I have 116 chrysalides inside and a few more outside. The first generation of the new season is critical. I expect some will eclose this week. Last season they turned colour quickly. I will post on here later this week. Regards, Caryl

    #54092

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    First one of the season for me just hatched … a boy ‘Romeo’ lol .. another one should enter the world today sometime .. hoping for a Juliette. Two more should be ready this week. I’ll enter in the database when he is ready to fly.

    #54088

    hugo
    Participant

    I have now had a run of hatchings and have released 95 butterflies which has resulted in regular sightings around my place. However the rain and wind will probably have scuttled some of them. It will be a little while before the current round of egg laying translates into cats. The rain has given a boost to swan plant growth so I’m ready for an invasion of cats (I hope).

    #54079

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    if you used a mild detergent I believe they should be ok … otherwise all your plants would have responded badly. I’ve found plants can react badly to poor drainage so I keep my potted plants on upturned plates or lids. Poor drainage usually shows as yellowing leaves and then loss of leaf as does general poor plant health. But they can just turn up their toes for seemingly no apparent reason and a healthy plant will just suddenly wilt and die. It pays to keep on growing new ones. Plants in the ground tend to do better and get bigger than potted plants IME but even they have a lifespan, I lost a couple of big ones this year … one suddenly wilted so I cut the leafy ends off and potted them and looks promising for cloned plants … thanks for the suggestion Jacqui 🙂

    #54075

    ingerkite
    Participant

    I gave 2x nature swan plants from last year along with new seedlings. I haven’t seen any monarchs in Raglan and certainly don’t have any caterpillars like we did last year. I was advised to kill aphids with mild detergent mixed with water in spray bottle. The leaves fell off the older plant. Have I contaminated the plants??

    #54073

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Thanks Di for helping me sort this out.

    It seems that when Google Chrome updated recently it’s created a little bit of a glitch… what seems to fix things is for people to clear their browsing history:

    1. On your computer, open Chrome.
    2. At the top right, click the three little dots (which has got a name, but I forget what it is).
    3. Click More tools
    4. Clear browsing data. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
    5. Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
    6. Click Clear data.

    Please now try again and see if it works.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #54060

    monkey
    Participant

    Have tried to report sighting of monarchs in my home garden @ Hamilton but the site doesn’t recognise the co-ordinates even tho in the past I have had no difficulties

    #54055

    ggh
    Participant

    I’m not sure I’ve seen a monarch out and about in my neighbourhood in Wellington since September when a few (or one repeatedly) came by to lay eggs on my plants. I returned at the end of October from a trip overseas to 19 hungry little caterpillars.

    Of that batch, I’ve released 7 (2 males 5 females), but just as many have died either as caterpillars, pupating, or from being too weak to eclose. Also, I have 4 invalids I’m feeding. I’m down to one chrysalis that… I don’t really expect great things from (I’ll see in a few hours I guess). Whether it was from getting cucumber too early in their development, or from using some swan plants that caused trouble last year, this batch has been pretty bleak. I’ll be taking a break from the caterpillars now, maybe until March, or maybe longer.

    My daughter’s school has planted swan plants in a few places outside, and I’ve noticed that there aren’t any eggs or caterpillars on them yet.

    #54051

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    Hi again Caryl not sure I answered your questions correctly. I had a team of cats late last season inside (in butterfly castle) and had a reasonable success rate. Last one eclosed on Matariki. Good chance the butterflys that have come back this year are from that lot. Eggs were laid in September but most of them didn’t hatch .. but the ones laid on plants in pots were taken into the hothouse and that’s where my current lot have come from. There are now some little ones on outside plants from subsequent egg laying. I’ve also rescued some cats from one of my elderly homecare clients who was too unwell to look after the plants (he is now in hospital) .. so I took cats off the dying plants.

    #54050

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    Hi Caryl bit of everything really lol … i’m like a mother hen moving them between the house and hothouse wherever the temp and light is best. ATM I have some little cats in hothouse but the chrysalids are in the house … I had two big cats pupate this morning in a caterpillar castle up the hall. It had a tea towel over the top to stop unwelcome attention from the catboys Harry and Billy 🙂 My other two older chrysalids are under a cake cover in the lounge.
    ‘When’ the weather settles I’ll be able to use my outside butterfly house that’s covered in netting.
    I find I get a lot of very valuable use from the caterpillar castles ATM.
    Hopefully i’ll get two butterflys next week!

    #54048

    Caryl
    Moderator

    Hi Leslie, Your first monarch of last season was that one helped along in your glasshouse or in your house to eclose? I thought you usually got your eggs in December?? I have 47 chrysalides inside because the first season ones are critical.
    My first one last season was born 7 December so I expect my present ones to eclose close to that date.Warm regards, Caryl

    #54040

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    yes Oz does have monarchs … we saw plenty in Queensland last time we were there.

    #54035

    GaynorTait
    Participant

    The last Monarchs I had in the garden, must be at least 2 months ago. There are simply none to be seen around here in Gisborne. So disappointing as usually I would have released over 100 butterflies by now.!
    Those I had must have been Males.
    My 9yr old Great grandaughter in Sydney, asked me last night how my Butterflies were.
    When I told her that I had none, and lots of other people in NZ had none as well, she said , ” Perhaps the birds are eating them Nanny or the rain might have been too heavy for them ” She then said ” I hope you have got some when we come next time ” She continued to say she had seen a butterfly at her school, and it was an ORANGE and BLACK ” one.( Do Monarchs “live” in Australia.??) Hopefully , some will come soon. It is so strange not have Monarchs flying around the garden.

    #53990

    monkey
    Participant

    A few around here (Hamilton) I have brought in a few eggs but can only manage a few at a time. Have released 8 adults over the past 3 days, but only one chrysalis left to eclose. There will be a break now as i only have one cat of any size, & 5 very small ones.

    #53977

    christine marsh
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui
    I noticed the wasps were eating my caterpillars about a month ago and covered a big bush which now has about 50 butterflies just starting to come out. Have covered a few more bushes a couple of weeks ago and getting a bit of success there too.

    I’m shocked how much swan plant here in Mt Eden is untouched. The local primary school has huge swan plants that are untouched by caterpillars.

    I saw a really tattie old girl trying to lay eggs about two weeks ago – but couldnt find the eggs when I went back – it was like she actually didn’t have anything to lay

    #53969

    hugo
    Participant

    As of today I have released 28 butterflies (over the past 9 days) so some are now visiting my swan plants. With a bit of luck I will start seeing some eggs as it has been incredibly slim pickings up to now. The rain has put off the wasps so it improves the chances of the eggs/cats surviving. However a family of baby praying mantis invaded my butterfly house today so it is a sign that there will be many more to predate on the eggs and cats. I still have 80 odd chrysalides at various stages so hope to have a viable breeding population fluttering around my area of Omokoroa.

    #53961

    LeslieD
    Moderator

    I still have a tatty winter female visiting … last spotted her on Friday. I now have a good amount of eggs and a few small cats outside .. i’m seriously contemplating rescuing them in this crap weather … maybe 10 or so little ones inside + 2 cats about to pupate and 2 chrysalids. I expect the 2 chrysalids should eclose before 10th December when I got my first butterfly last year. In Karori I think its pretty much business as usual. just hoping my first 2 are boy and girl lol or they could be lonely for a while.

    #53956

    Caryl
    Moderator

    Hi Jacqui, I look every day for them. The last one I saw was weeks ago, a male, one of the last winter overs. In Wellington the season is late, I got eggs the same week as I always do and only this week have some chrysalides (usually it doesn’t take this long = more than 80 days). I don’t have a greenhouse and no flat land to have one. I have noticed also increased damage in chrysalides and failed j’s to chrysalis. I now have approx 15 chrysalides inside and gather them to bring in every day to protect the first generation of the season. My challenge as always is getting swan plants to grow faster. Too much rain here and low temperatures. Caryl

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