Vanda

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Viewing 19 replies - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • in reply to: butterfly learning #56603

    Vanda
    Participant

    Butterfly physiotherapy! 🙂

    in reply to: diapause #56541

    Vanda
    Participant

    I have a adult butterflies who have eclosed inside the ‘castle’ over the last 2 days, both males and females. Temperatures are dropping and they’re all happy huddling together at the top. I haven’t noticed any mating, so I assume they’ve switched their ‘overwintering’ clocks on.

    in reply to: Damaged Tag sticker #56521

    Vanda
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui!

    “Duh!” was exactly my reaction! 😀

    in reply to: Caterpillar pupating on vertical wall #56448

    Vanda
    Participant

    Thank you for the replies, Bright123, Jacqui and Carol 🙂

    As you say, it’s all a learning experience. It’s certainly an amazing end of season here in my garden (Taupo). I’m tagging for the 1st time, and ordered 50 tags thinking that would be enough. I think I need to get 50 more, at least!

    in reply to: Caterpillar pupating on vertical wall #56436

    Vanda
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies, Connie and Leslie 🙂

    Connie – this guy was firmly stuck to the wall at this point.

    The caterpillar actually shed the skin okay, however because the chrysalis is so soft at the beginning, one of its sides was just flattened against the weatherboard. I tried very carefully to remove it while it was still somewhat soft (hoping it would revert back to a more cylindrical shape), but it fell and died. I don’t think a normal butterfly would have emerged from this chrysalis anyway, but it was sad to see. As always, when we lose a butterfly.

    Why this little guy didn’t just go another 10 cm forward was beyond me, but as Leslie says, maybe it’s an insect IQ thing. Or maybe it was just a bit sick.


    Vanda
    Participant

    Opps, image didn’t link 🙂

    1st tag, March 2019 monarch season

    in reply to: Mantis #56330

    Vanda
    Participant

    I leave praying mantises alone, personally. The same can’t be said of wasps.

    Mantises kill all sorts of pests in the garden (shield bugs, aphids, flies, leaf-hoppers, shield bugs, weevils, etc) as do spiders (and I’ve seen spiders killing mantises that get caught in webs too!) – apologies if you know this as I don’t mean to sound preachy 🙂

    I don’t think mantises cause the same amount of trouble as wasps and tachinid flies do to the monarch population in NZ. I think they’re beautiful, fascinating creatures 🙂

    in reply to: Caterpillars inside OR outside? #56329

    Vanda
    Participant

    I’ve been keeping my caterpillars outside and collect the chrysalises and put them in the ‘butterfly castle’ so I can tag them when I get home 🙂

    I wonder if keeping caterpillars and chrysalises inside (where it’s warm) will somehow muck up their diapause clock? This is the main reason I keep them outside but I’m not sure there’s any evidence for this. Anyone know?

    – Vanda, at Taupō

    in reply to: hatching butterfly fails to expand wings: solution #56195

    Vanda
    Participant

    Fantastic tip!

    in reply to: Matchmaking for Monarchs #56090

    Vanda
    Participant

    I guys, Vanda here, posting from Taupō.

    I’ve posted my availability to receive caterpillars on the Facebook matchmaking page, but just in case that’s missed I’m posting this here as well.

    I have a very reasonable 2×2 meter patch of swan plants currently 2+ meters tall. My gross estimate is that that little milkweed forest may have produced 40+ butterflies this season. I keep finding empty chrysalises all over the place. I don’t usually have a lot of free time, so my approach to helping monarchs is pretty much letting them fend for themselves while providing help when I can. At least they have a place to feed, mate and many caterpillars do survive the predators.

    Anyway, long story short. Swan plants are thriving due to, in great deal, the natural balance enforced by predators. This being said, it is still a chance at survival for your caterpillars if they are certain to starve to death.

    Taupō is pretty central in the North Island, so you may know a neighbour or a friend who is driving through who wont mind dropping off some caterpillars at my place or wherever is more convenient for you – I will attempt to accommodate.

    I am happy to share my mobile on request, alternatively we can organise the drop offs through Facebook messenger!

    in reply to: Beetle to control the weed moth plant #56089

    Vanda
    Participant

    Don’t really know what to say, Jacqui, other than the beetle doesn’t affect swan plants or monarchs directly according to the documents provided, so it’s better than pesticides that kill everything.

    If that moth weed is truly dreadful as they say it is, and irreparable damage is being done by the destruction of native and commercial habitats, and if this beetle is a solution, then go for it. I imagine the scientists are pretty sure that the beetle wont affect farmers etc.

    However, it’s impossible to replicate real-life conditions in the lab, and they only tested a handful of plants, so who knows how it will really affect the ecosystem?

    Anyway, my 2-cents.

    in reply to: lots of eggs,caterpillars and chrysalises #56088

    Vanda
    Participant

    Praying mantises do eat caterpillars, but I never kill them. I merely transplant the mantises to a distant part of the yard (or the veggie patch). They are our friends and kill unwanted pests in the garden 🙂

    in reply to: Yellow Admiral visiting garden. Beautiful. #56087

    Vanda
    Participant

    That is so awesome, Gaynor. I’d love getting an Admiral friendly garden next season. I just find butterflies the most fascinating of insects.

    I’ve seen monarchs mating as early as 2h after eclosing, lol. It’s always the males that find the females from what I’ve observed myself (while the poor things are still figuring out what those shiny new wings are for). But it’s nature 🙂

    in reply to: Eggs are back in Taupō! #56071

    Vanda
    Participant

    Yeah, getting quite a few eggs now too but haven’t culled any. I have a constant wasp presence around my main swan plant patch, so I scattered those plants that I had growing in pots around the backyard. That seems to be working okay.

    You have to admire the wasps persistence though. Their flight patterns around, above and below EVERY milkweed leaf looking for caterpillars is just insane. They’re such a highly efficient predator.

    As for sexing chrysalises check out this photo I posted on Facebook:

    Posted by Vanda Nobre on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

    A magnifying glass really helps 🙂

    in reply to: Transferring eggs and caterpillars to new milkweed plants #55790

    Vanda
    Participant

    Belated thanks to all who responded! Great ideas 🙂

    Thank you Jacqui, for the videos.

    in reply to: Got 2 minutes to spare to do a survey? Please? #55009

    Vanda
    Participant

    Got the email. Done and dusted straight away! Are you having a reasonable number of responses, Jacqui?

    in reply to: The North Island Monarch corridor #54825

    Vanda
    Participant

    7 butterflies in October! That means you must’ve had your first eggs in September (or even late August as temperatures were cooler). It’d be really interesting to know where those very early butterflies that laid the eggs came from.

    I first noticed eggs on my milkweeds around mid October (that’s roughly 4 weeka after you).

    I also recall Jacqui saying that she had to have eggs sent to her from other parts of the country in preparation for the NZ flower and garden show in Auckland that happened in late November.

    So if Hamilton had eggs in September, Taupō had eggs in October, but Auckland had no eggs prior to November, it seems plausible to assume that our monarchs flew from the south as opposed from their overwintering location in Northland.

    By the way, do you tag your butterflies? I’m really thinking about doing that this season. 😊

    in reply to: NO MONARCHS #54775

    Vanda
    Participant

    Hi Trevor. Whereabouts are you located? Here in Taupō I had an ‘eggsplosion’ a few days before Christmas, with only a handful of eggs in October.

    in reply to: Help searching the forums please! #52689

    Vanda
    Participant

    Ah yes! I did that too actually (replacing the words in the address bar), but that doesn’t work very well if you want to search multiple words.

    Thanks for the tip Jacqui.

Viewing 19 replies - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)