A female Lesser Wanderer butterfly was caught

This topic contains 192 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  clinton9 4 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #15108

    clinton9
    Participant

    Today,

    I caught the female Lesser Wanderer butterfly in wasteland near Thames Refuse Transfer Station this afternoon.

    This late morning I were hunting for aussie butterflies and I went to retirement building by Richmond Rd and looked for butterflies, but no aussie butterflies.

    Then I went to wasteland by Refuse Transfer Station and looked for aussie butterflies, but I saw a red admiral butterfly and I went after it so I can get it to lay eggs on my potted nettle, but I lost it as it flew away north-westward toward sea. Then I biked eastward and when I stopped biking by a bench, to check for Aussie butterflies and suddenly I saw a Lesser Wanderer butterfly flying from dump, then I went after it, and swinged my $ 2 net at it…missed…it flew fast for 11 metres…then it dropped onto a long dead grass stalk…I swinged the net across the grass & caught the Lesser Wanderer butterfly.

    When I handled it carefully, I found tip of hind body were damaged…#@@# how little careless I were, as I was hoped to send eggs to Zac (nzwings), but only if butterfly is willing to lay eggs. Otherwise Zac have to accept a gift from me in form of a damaged butterfly. If it won’t lay eggs in few days time, I have to kill it and send the butterfly to Zac.

    The Lesser Wanderer butterfly is alive and in my smaller caterpillar castle with orange-flowered milkweed (swan plant).

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 192 total)
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  • #30629

    Bernie
    Participant

    A long time ago now,I was in correspondence with Sir Cyril Clarke,who had done a lot of research on rhesus babies.
    His research had somehow involved breeding swallowtail butterflies and I think that he may have been the first person to perfect hand pairing as part of his breeding research.
    One day ,I received through the post a package ,which on opening,contained several swallowtail butterflies each one in a transparent envelope with it’s wings folded.
    I assumed that they were dead but was amazed when one moved it’s body!
    A quarter of an hour later,I was sitting having breakfast with half a dozen beautiful swallowtail butterflies which were feeding from honey water pads and this was my first introduction to breeding swallowtail butterflies.
    I myself have never resorted to transparent envelopes but I often send live butterflies through the post and rarely if ever have had any problems.I just put them in an uncrushable plastic box(usually from a chinese takeaway),with tissue paper fixed inside for them to have a foothold,sellotape the lid and pop it in a larger envelope.
    PS.It is important to remove the chinese meal from the plasic box though!!
    I got so frienly with Sir cyril that by the end of our correspondence ,he was calling me Brian!

    #30628

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Milkweed I’m sure we can arrange something.
    Anna the butterfly breeders, particulary the ones who supply butterflies for releases at weddings etc. send them by courier post regularly. The butterflies are fed, placed in a paper envelope and kept in a cool place so that they are in a state of quiescence. Carefully placed in a suitable container that keeps them cool they can then be posted. I can give more explicit information to anyone if the situation arises.

    #30625

    Anna
    Participant

    Norm, can live butterflies be sent in the post in case anyone manages to see and catch one this coming season?

    #30624

    milkweed
    Participant

    Yes well done Norm! I always read your updates with fascination. I’m even tempted to drive up and get some caterpillars from you later in the season! We could do a deal!

    #30623

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement, it gives me a boost as it has been quite time consuming, and sometimes frustrating, bringing them through the winter. The mated female has died after laying 43 eggs, not as many as they are capable of producing but she may have been laying infertile eggs for a time before she mated, thus reducing the number of fertile eggs. However since she died other eggs darkened and hatched which indicated another pairing took place so its looking like a good run into spring. Still getting infertile eggs collapsing from the females that have not mated but the latest edition of newly hatched plus the ones to come should ensure another (5th) generation which I can then share with others. And of course the possibility of new arrivals from Australia, if caught, will enable the introduction of fresh input to the gene pool.

    #30622

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement, it gives me a boost as it has been quite time consuming, and sometimes frustrating, bringing them through the winter. The mated female has died after laying 43 eggs, not as many as they are capable of producing but she may have been laying infertile eggs for a time before she mated, thus reducing the number of fertile eggs. However since she died other eggs darkened and hatched which indicated another pairing took place so its looking like a good run into spring. Still getting infertile eggs collapsing from the females that have not mated but the latest edition of newly hatched plus the ones to come should ensure another (5th) generation which I can then share with others. And of course the possibility of new arrivals from Australia, if caught, will enable the introduction of fresh input to the gene pool.

    #30621

    Jane
    Participant

    FANTASTIC! Great work Norm : )

    #30620

    Pepetuna
    Participant

    Great news, Norm. All the painstaking work has paid off then. We will all keep a lookout this year for adults so you can widen the gene pool…when they start arriving from Oz.

    #30619

    Anna
    Participant

    Fantastic news…and well done Norm!

    #30618

    Bernie
    Participant

    Excellent news Norm.Well done!

    #30614

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Well done Norm! All your hard work has finally paid off, so happy for you:-)

    #30610

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    That’s great to hear Norm. Wonderful news.

    #30609

    Terry
    Participant

    Brilliant! Spring is normally the easiest time to breed over-wintered stock due to the fresh growth on the food-plants and increasing day length so let’s hope it’s plain sailing from now on! Once again, well done Norm!

    #30608

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    With all the Lesser Wanderer butterflies emerged and 3 weeks on with no pairings witnessed I was getting a bit despondant.
    Eggs were being laid but they were infertile and collapsed about the time they normally hatched. Handpairing was tried numerous times with no success and just when I was thinking maybe this was the end of the line, a pairing took place. Fingers crossed they would be viable and a week later the 4th generation caterpillars hatched, which has now grown in number to 43.
    With spring almost upon us rearing should get a little easier now.

    #30607

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    With all the Lesser Wanderer butterflies emerged and 3 weeks on with no pairings witnessed I was getting a bit despondant.
    Eggs were being laid but they were infertile and collapsed about the time they normally hatched. Handpairing was tried numerous times with no success and just when I was thinking maybe this was the end of the line, a pairing took place. Fingers crossed they would be viable and a week later the 4th generation caterpillars hatched, which has now grown in number to 43.
    With spring almost upon us rearing should get a little easier. now

    #30567

    Terry
    Participant

    Well done Norm!

    The shortest days and coldest weather should be behind you now, so let’s hope you get some decent weather to ease you in to the new season.

    #30566

    clinton9
    Participant

    Since I had been studying the NZ climate, The outdoor air temperature start to increase on mid-August.

    Temperature in unheated hothouse, start to reach 25oC on middle August during sunny days.

    Average dates of first & last frosts for Auckland:
    First frost on 1st July
    Last frost on 18th July
    Frost season for Auckland: 13th June to 6th August.

    Norm appreciate some swan plants for his caterpillars.
    Please do give away some of the swan plants to him.

    #30565

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Well done Norm.You have battled through the winter and I take my hat off to you. You’re such an inspiration to us all. I just wished we could have succeeded as well. Never mind Spring is not far away and it should become easier for you:-)

    #30564

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Currently most of the Lesser Wanderer caterpillars have pupated and 14 butterflies have emerged during the past 2 days. It seems rather strange having sub tropical butterflies emerging in the middle of winter, but my office where they reside is kept between 15 to 20 degrees with additional heating, to which my latest power bill will testify as it was up by more than just a fraction. The next step is to get them to pair, and all going well this should see the next (4th) generation through to spring, at which point the whole process should become a little easier.
    Roll on spring!

    #30488

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    No, true. I guess it may take many years of gradually acclimatising them…

    #30487

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Because they are getting warm inside temperatures during the winter I doubt these ones will acclimatise. It would probably take exposure to cooler temperatures over several generations and I do not want to risk losing them just yet.

    #30485

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great work, Norm.

    Question: From your experience and background knowledge, if you are successful raising them through this winter and then they proliferate over our coming summer, are the resulting stock more likely to be more acclimatised to our winter next year? If you know what I’m trying to say…

    Is it likely to get easier as time goes on?

    #30483

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    The third generation of Lesser Wanderer caterpillars is well established with one of the first hatched now at fourth instar, several eggs due to hatch tomorrow, and the last eggs laid three days ago after which the female expired. With a total of just over a hundred caterpillars and a few more to come hopefully I can achieve more pairings when they mature to adults. The butterflies have been receiving VIP treatment by spending the day in the butterfly house with temperatures up between 25 – 30 degrees, and rounded up late afternoon into a castle and taken inside out of the cold nights. The eggs and caterpillars on small plants reside in the hot water cupboard (special negotiations with my wife) to keep warm, but the plants need constant watering and it is a full time job just tending the breed. If it was not for the fact that I am retired there would not be enough hours in the day.

    #30454

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Other species such as the admirals have a slow growth period during winter and I intend to split the larvae into two groups, keeping one group at warm temperatures for normal development and the other at cooler temperatures to slow down their development, which may possibly get them through winter before pupating.

    #30452

    Zac
    Participant

    hi norm, i didnt witness any pairings, and i spent most of my days with a eye on them. i did have females wanting to lay but these turned out to be infertile. i did everything right and with my experience in breeding butterflies it should have been very straight forward. i think being winter and with very low light conditions they just didnt want to be active enough to do their business as you have worked out having your butterfly house at high tempts. i guess this time it has escaped my grasp, but hopefully you will continue to have success and at a later date if you still have the brood going it could have another attempt. maybe if you could stall the caterpillars growth during winter they might pause until its warmer. its worth a try with a few and would prolong the generation from weakening broods. if you understand what im trying to say lol as i have noticed that this species will pause activity if the weather is not favorable and will pupate in its own time.

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 192 total)

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