Terry

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  • in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #57114

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Fabian,

    Yes my captive bred stock is still going after 22 years. I read your other post and realise you are in Germany. I am sorry to say that I do not supply livestock any more via post as the EU and particularly the UK now have adopted ridiculous environmental laws for so called species protection. We also have environmentalists who are really uneducated thugs who would probably try to destroy my project given a chance on some crazy excuse such as introducing foreign species to the UK. (I would never release my stock to the wild). As you stated the Northern European winters are far to cold for this species to survive, even if they escaped, and I keep mine going with enough warmth just to keep the Butterfly House temperature above freezing on cold winter nights. The UK being less cold than German winters I can still find nettles and keep a few larvae through to spring. If you are ever in the UK I will give you my details so you can visit and take some stock back with you if you can get it through customs as we will be out of the EU soon I hope.
    My reason for being so cautious Is that I have a fellow Butterfly Breeder who is exporting and importing livestock “legally” has been seriously persecuted by environmental thugs and other so called conservation bodies and I don’t want to attract attention to myself. I am a scientist at heart and want to learn as much as I can before the laws get even more stupid and draconian.

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #56153

    Terry
    Moderator

    Superb work Zac,

    Keep it up! Even with a species as easy to breed in captivity as Yellow Admiral’s I find I never stop discovering new things about them. You will find the same no doubt with the species you breed. The fact you have chosen the Forest Ringlet could make you one of the most knowledgeable people in the world if you can just focus on them and not get distracted. The trouble with butterflies and humans is that butterflies are so variable and brightly coloured (in most cases) people tend to want to do to many species at once and therefore getting conditions just perfect for whichever species is the one you wish to learn about is more difficult to achieve. However if I lived in New Zealand I am pretty sure I would have gone for Forest Ringlet as well. They really are special and look so different from other species.

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #56097

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Leslie, As in my comment below, this could have been my own fault although I still don’t know how I managed it! I wrote my piece, posted it and it appeared. Found a spelling mistake and opened it to edit. When I clicked post it disappeared, however later in the day I noticed a small message saying posted and hidden by terry at the top of the thread. I clicked on this and it said flagged as spam so I un-spammed it and back it appeared. Very weird indeed!

    in reply to: Golf courses across U.S. step up to save monarch butterflies #56096

    Terry
    Moderator

    This is a brilliant idea! If only Golf Courses in the UK could take this positive attitude towards butterfly conservation it would make a huge difference and halt the decline of some species. Alas most of the training given to Golf course staff is mainly about how to remove anything and everything leaving only grass either long for the rough or short for the course and a few trees scattered here and there. Mankind’s ignorance and stupidity knows no limits.

    in reply to: dilapidated site #56094

    Terry
    Moderator

    I am sure it’s a problem that can be sorted out! Jacqui will know how to get this done via the hosting company. I have not tried to post pictures here but most problems can be fixed. Do you post pictures on any other Butterfly related websites?

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #56093

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi again Zac! Somehow I spammed my own post, or so it seems! I have now restored it so you can see my full reply.

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #56092

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Zac I posted a lengthy reply to your last post only for it to disappear from the thread 2 minutes later. Still says posted at my end but not showing on forum. Strange!
    Anyway second attempt this time brief! Can’t view your videos as I am not on facebook. Maybe you could post on youtube at some point?

    Would love to know where my original reply went!!!!

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #56086

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Zac, I am not a member of facebook so could not get to the videos but only to the thumbnail pics on the front page. However, that aside it’s good to hear how you are learning more about the Forest Ringlet and that you are trying to breed it in captivity. The problem with many in decline species is lack of knowledge and this is why it’s so hard to turn things around. Knee jerk reactions from well intentioned but naive conservationists normally end up placing such species under strict laws prohibiting captive breeding attempts which in turn leads to an even faster demise. If you can manage to find a way to breed large numbers in captivity and then find suitable habitat where maybe they once thrived there is a chance for reintroduction, however it must be noted that if that decline is caused not just by habitat destruction which would make a reintroduction pointless but by introduced predators such as the wasp problem, so often reported from New Zealand, then control methods for these must be in place before reintroduction. It’s always difficult and almost impossible to do without cooperation from local authorities who mostly only play at conservation as a cheap way to make out they have “green credentials”. I am sure you know how it is with politics the world over. I do wish you luck however and thanks for trying, if only more people did this we could turn things around before it is too late. As for the Honshu White Admirals, do you have suitable habitat to introduce them to in your area? I know how Japanese Honeysuckle is a serious problem in parts of New Zealand and although I doubt that the Butterflies will do any serious damage to it’s spread they certainly make a beautiful addition to New Zealand’s Butterfly list. Maybe you could consider placing some of your Videos on Youtube where they will reach a wider audience. What other species of butterfly are in reach from where you live and where? I am very interested as I know how the New Zealand landscape is so variable form area to area. What about the two Admirals and the Copper species? Can you find them locally?
    I think New Zealand is the most scenic and beautiful country in the world and so it’s such a shame that it has so few species of butterfly. That aside, those few it has are all very interesting which makes up for that lack. My addiction to the Yellow Admiral I have captive bred for years comes from the fact they were so different in colour yet so similar in other ways and obviously from a common ancestor within the Red Admiral variations world over. Whether it be vanessa atalanta, vanessa indica, vanessa tameamea, vanessa gonerilla, vanessa itea, vanessa virginiensis, vanessa cardui or vanessa braziliensis ect this type covers most continents of the world and it’s amazing how the basic wing patterns are almost the same. It would be wonderful if we could time travel back to find out what the common ancestor looked like!

    in reply to: National shortage of monarchs caused by wasps #55475

    Terry
    Moderator

    Just read the comments by Jacqui on this subject on another thread about Forest Ringlets so I suppose this would be the right place to comment so not to go off topic.
    Living in the UK I obviously am very detached from what is going on in New Zealand with the shortage of Monarch and the lack of fertility reported. It could just be weather related as some species just have bad years where they take longer to build up numbers with many possible factors that could be the cause. I would be careful not to make too much of a link with decline in North America. The causes there are easier to spot. Destruction of the overwintering forests in Mexico is one factor. Intensive agriculture in the USA and Mexico and the destruction of more natural habitat by human encroachment being another. The USA is well known for its overuse of Herbicides and Pesticides and the introduction of genetically engineered crops could produce toxic pollen that drifts on to the Milkweeds on the margins and roadsides poisoning larvae. The USA is known to have very lax environmental controls compared to Europe and the overall farming methods are very damaging to all wildlife. Prairie farming monoculture is how it is known locally. The increasing encroachment on the land that is still unspoilt is also a huge factor combined with population growth.
    New Zealand like any other developing nation has pressures on it’s wild areas too but is still fortunate to have a smaller population human wise than many other countries. It will take quite a bit of research to get to the bottom of this suggested lack of fertility but maybe if it is still a problem by next year that would be the time to get serious, because evidence that this is a real problem and not just a blip need to be found before you can start finding out more.

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #55449

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Mike,

    That’s very interesting! No doubt control of the European Wasp will be difficult and possibly have little real effect on numbers. In the UK we find that both Vespula germanica and vespula vulgaris have good years and bad years so you will probably find yearly fluctuations as well in New Zealand. These wasps are killed on a massive scale over here by pest control but it makes little real impact overall. On naturally bad years for the wasps it may give the Forest Ringlets time to recoup and although they may appear absent they could be at much smaller densities. Both of these two wasps had a poor season last year in the UK. I would suggest that New Zealand appoint someone resident to head the conservation effort rather than flying in someone who can only cover this on a short term basis. I am sure New Zealand has very capable entomologists who could take this on. It’s always better when you know the country well, than as a newcomer. I suppose to get things moving you have to get widespread media coverage as with the Kakapo project. Once people get interested it’s easier to persuade government to fund research. This is a very special butterfly in very many ways so I wish you well in your efforts.

    in reply to: Forest Ringlet and Honshu White Admiral #55033

    Terry
    Moderator

    Thank you Norm, that was a very interesting report. I have friends in New Zealand who lived on Waiheke Island for a while about 10 years ago. As they were and are still not interested in butterflies it would have been pointless to ask them what was to be found on the island. The fact that Forest Ringlets are on Little Barrier Island is very good news as I know it is already a nature reserve and now Forest Ringlets have been discovered there it will be easier to include them in regular monitoring amongst the rare birds and other creatures on the island. I would be interested to hear of any sightings you make in your own forays and you can email me privately if you wish to keep this info low key to protect the areas from too much public attention. Personally I don’t think the Honshu White Admiral will have any major effect on controlling Japanese Honeysuckle, however, who in there right mind would complain about having such a beautiful butterfly as a new species in New Zealand?
    In the UK Cinnabar Moths are widespread but so is Ragwort so same result really!
    I heard the Large White was successfully eradicated before it could establish properly but that came as no surprise. In the UK 98% of larvae are destroyed by both the aforementioned parasites every year and it is far less common than the Small White.
    Last years Purple Emperor season over here was the best I can remember and at Chiddingfold Forest where I am a regular I even managed to get photo’s close up on my mobile phone, even touching the butterflies with the phone. The most comical day was when a lady was complaining that a Purple Emperor I had pointed out to her on the track had a blade of grass in front of it spoiling the shot. I asked her to step back, laid on the track, slowly moved my hand up to the grass stem and broke it off. I even just touched the butterflies wing to manage this. She could not believe her eyes but I explained that if you move slowly once a Purple Emperor is imbibing on the salts it becomes so preoccupied that you can get away with far more than you would normally. They will sometimes even land on you if you are sweating to get salts. Needless to say she went away happy having snapped many shots. I hope 2019 is a good Purple Emperor season as well.

    in reply to: What is this Red-Orange Thin Waspy Insect #54990

    Terry
    Moderator

    I am an amateur entomologist not a professional paid one. No one would fund my project as what the world system we live under funds is only research that benefits the economy in some way not wildlife. This is why the most common mistake made by people is to think they have managed a victory over any government when they get protection under law for a species. This is a huge joke played on the people by any government in the world because it’s never the particular species that needs protection but it’s habitat that it needs to thrive in. Be it insects or mammals protection of a species won’t save it from extinction only laws to protect it’s habitat. Classic example is the Marsh fritillary in the UK. It has full protection under the law so you cannot collect it, breed it in captivity etc. However what was seen as a victory for the greens is devastating for the species in reality because it’s habitat required is very precise and not protected under law, therefore the government can destroy it’s last remaining strongholds when ever it wants but those who used to breed it in captivity (and it is very easy to breed massive numbers) are now outside the law. Just one example of green thinking against sound science. Sound science would have informed the fools that push for protection of species it won’t work. Example 2 Tigers in India! protected. Habitat not protected! Humans encroach on Tigers territory and when humans get attacked by Tigers, Tigers are killed. Not rocket science just plain common sense really. Governments exist to create wealth and are all run by vested interests who are also very wealthy therefore will only pass laws that continue the system. People mock Trump and in many cases rightly so, but what he said about climate change had lots of truth in it. In the past money to stop climate change was given by rich countries to poor ones to do certain things in this regard, and the corrupt leaders put the money in Swiss bank accounts. And does anyone really believe that under a democracy people will vote to lower their own living standards. People always vote for the party who promises more personal wealth not less.

    in reply to: What is this Red-Orange Thin Waspy Insect #54931

    Terry
    Moderator

    Thanks Leslie, As I live in the UK I suppose I have got used to asking questions from a more scientific standpoint. As for politeness I had no idea how defensive some people can get when challenged on why or how about a subject. I am used to ukbutterflies forum and similar. My interest in New Zealand butterflies stem from 21 years of line breeding Vanessa itea to learn as much as possible about them in comparison to our vanessa atalanta as you probably already know! This is the sort of conversation on that site in link below.

    http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9984&sid=90021cc3fe720eec3c0b5a9326c5a594

    As you can see because we have more species and a larger population of humans and Lepidopterists the conversations are a bit more in depth. That’s not a dig at New Zealand it’s just with 67 million people compared to your tiny population we tend to have more interest and may I be so bold as to say “serious interest” in Butterflies, so people who are, can I again suggest “greenies” tend to have there own web space. I think the Guy who runs the NZbutterflies site is more of our persuasion having had his background in the UK and has carried that over with him to New Zealand. I know of a few other New Zealanders who are lepidopterists in the truest sense and they tend to take the more scientific line over emotional interest. I should have known better as I still remember a few years ago the totally unscientific fallout/reaction to Clinton when he stated he had set a few dead butterflies So apologies! Didn’t mean to offend but I obviously hit the sensitive spot!

    in reply to: What is this Red-Orange Thin Waspy Insect #54901

    Terry
    Moderator

    Paper wasps are a foreign introduced species and a known pest species I have no problem with killing them although it will make little difference due to the very high numbers of that species. I also have no problem with killing known parasites of different stages of Butterfly life cycle. however my question was really about killing something on the wild guess it may kill Butterfly Larvae. If it cannot be proven that its a danger you could be killing a useful species. It’s not just Butterflies that get attacked, and as most insects whether predatory or parasites are “host specific” it is best to identify first then kill if necessary. I still cannot see the link between Martial Arts and what I am talking about, and as for Political correctness I am it’s greatest enemy. Maybe you get scientific people mixed up with bunny hugging emotional people of which I am the former not the latter.

    in reply to: What is this Red-Orange Thin Waspy Insect #54887

    Terry
    Moderator

    So you kill an insect, and you don’t really know it’s true identity, don’t know it’s classification name or much of anything else and you choose to squash them. So what is your reaction to people who kill Butterflies out of pure ignorance? I thought Monarch Trust was about educating the public to respect wildlife in general! Predators have a place in nature as well you realise and encouraging others to kill without proper understanding is stupid and a bad advertisement for Monarch Trust!

    in reply to: Butterfly Center Will Be Destroyed #54380

    Terry
    Moderator

    Sounds like something any politician would do! Open your eyes to the world we really live in!

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #53785

    Terry
    Moderator

    I managed to bring through nearly 500 larvae to pupation and over 300 have now emerged. The weather is holding up and so far no frosts have occurred. The weather looks settled for the next week or two and we had some much needed rain last weekend so finding autumn nettles should be a bit easier. Once the much colder weather kicks in the butterflies in the GH activity will slow down and then the, getting them through the long UK winter, battle will begin.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #53728

    Terry
    Moderator

    The project continues in to September and now as the temperatures slowly drop and days get shorter in the UK, its time to build up stock ready for the winter season. After one of the longest droughts and heatwave since 1979 nettles were scarce and the stock of Yellow Admirals low. However the drought was broken by thunderstorms and rain and then nice fresh nettles appeared and I am now in the process of building up numbers again. I have at this time about 60 pupae and if the last instar larvae make it through I could get 150 or maybe more. The resulting butterflies will probably last until mid October and from these I will need to get plenty of eggs and then healthy larvae to produce another generation in late October to early November, these are the generation that in the cold temperatures will be required to produce just enough eggs to keep the project ticking over during the winter period. The wilt disease is still active although some larvae from the butterfly house from unsterilised eggs are surviving and the pupae are gathered up and the resulting butterflies mixed in with others from sterilised stock to try and breed in resistance. As anyone out there with a scientific medical background knows this is not a perfect solution as in nature not only the host develops resistance but over time the infection adapts as well, so its a difficult battle to win.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #53523

    Terry
    Moderator

    Apologies for lack of posts for 3 months but health problems, work commitments and other distractions have kept me overwhelmed to say the least.
    The project is still going strong after an amazing spring brood, followed by a smaller generation we are now suffering a drought in the south east of England, the worst since 1976, with it almost impossible to find decent nettles to feed my larvae. To cope with this I decided to sterilise eggs collected from the butterfly house and then place the eggs in small clear plastic boxes in the refrigerator at no lower than 3 centigrade. I can then bring eggs out and when larvae emerge from eggs I transfer them via an artists paint brush on to nettles in other plastic rearing boxes. Doing only small numbers of larvae at a time helps with the lack of foodplant and the eggs go back into the refrigerator until I require more larvae. So far the eggs have remained viable for 5 weeks using this method so it could also come in handy in very cold winters when nettles are also in short supply. It must be noted that as the eggs are sterilised using the Domestos 5% treatment that the eggs fall from the leaves and after washing and drying are therefore in the plastic boxes in a clean environment with no foliage to rot and cause other problems. Even small 1st instar larvae are surviving using this method as long as the temperature does not hit freezing or below. No doubt many Yellow Admiral larvae survive your winters in New Zealand as very small larvae. Sterilisation of the eggs is still essential as wilt is still active in my stock but has been less of a problem that last year, so far!

    in reply to: Admiral chrysalis moving #53447

    Terry
    Moderator

    Red Admiral and Yellow Admiral pupae will normally wiggle when touched. Reasons why they won’t is if they contain parasites of pteromalus puparum or are diseased. If diseased they will soon go black and soft, if parasitism is the cause they will be full of small fly larvae. Best wait and see. They will produce butterflies after approx 2 weeks in warm weather maybe 3 in colder weather. You will know if they are alive as they will start to colour up. (you will see the butterfly wings showing through the pupae before emergence)

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #53110

    Terry
    Moderator

    I have approximately 94 butterflies emerged to date and all went much better than expected. No sign of wilt disease yet and another 250 pupae have formed. the total could even reach 410 exceeding my best estimates. next job; start collecting eggs for sterilisation and then on to the next brood.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #53030

    Terry
    Moderator

    Things just keep getting better at the moment and I know have 175 pupae glued up with the first 5 butterflies emerged. 1 yesterday and 4 today with the 1 butterfly remaining from the winter generation. The timing was perfect. I could end up with 240 at this rate which is way beyond what I expected. Today is also the first proper spring weather in what has been a dismal springtime. It was nice to see Brimstones flying around in the wild as well.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #52929

    Terry
    Moderator

    I now have 75 Yellow Admiral pupae glued up ready for emergence with a possible total from this batch of 95, however the second batch is now getting ready to pupate and there are 19 at this moment spinning silk pads for pupation. If wilt does not strike this generation then possibly another large batch of pupae could be ready soon.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #52896

    Terry
    Moderator

    I have just glued up 50 Yellow Admiral pupae and with the larvae about to pupate the total could reach 90. This is far better than I expected and so far no sign of wilt. As the weather is going to start to warm up at last in 1 weeks time, I expect the disease to show when the Butterfly House gets higher temperatures within, for longer periods. It’s a relief to have managed to scrape through this winter once again although failure was only just avoided.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #52832

    Terry
    Moderator

    Finally, after one of the longest spells of poor spring weather for a long time I have managed to get some larvae to pupation. I have 27 larvae pupating or already pupae meaning that the project has survived another UK winter. Moving now toward year 21 of the project. These spring larvae are large due to the quality spring nettles at this time of year. No sign of wilt disease yet but as it is almost impossible to eradicate once it’s in the stock that will probably reappear as the weather warms up.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 1,258 total)