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 - 151 through 175 (of 192 total)
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  • #29603

    Anna
    Participant

    Thats great news Norm. How many chrysalis to go? I hope you get a good mix of males and females….and that they have a lot of little offspring!

    #29602

    Zac
    Participant

    nice to know.

    #29601

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Exciting Norm! Ours at the exhibit are a real talking point.

    Jacqui

    #29600

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    As an update on developments, the first Lesser Wanderer eclosed today, 12 days after pupating and a shorter period than I was expecting. It was a healthy looking male, so I am awaiting further emergences and in particular a female.

    #29566

    Darren
    Participant

    Thanks for that info on Pyrrolizidine alkaloids Terry, I have updated the wikipedia page on Heliotropium accordingly.

    #29565

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Anna, I have kept potted hostplants for several years to provide for Painted Lady, Blue Moon, and Blue Tiger butterflies but never really thought I would be lucky enough to ‘nail’ an Australian female migrant butterfly, as I had seen several male Blue Moon butterflies over the years. So yes keeping your net handy is a good policy.

    Terry my first thought was how would this species handle in-breeding, so the answer to your question of how many generations did I hope to breed would be – until they die out. Of course the ultimate would be for someone else to catch a gravid female Lesser Wanderer and exchange breeding stock. According to references first generation inbred individuals are more likely to show physical and health defects than subsequent generations, the two most prevalent being reduced fertility and smaller adult size.
    Mind you your Yellow admiral population seems to have managed the problem ‘admirably’ so here’s hoping.
    This is one of the reasons why I preferred to keep all the offspring to myself in order to have a larger breeding population. I have also been informed by a reliable source that a Monarch and a Lesser Wanderer were mated several years back and the few eggs that were kept resulted in L.W. larvae. If this is the case, and I intend to try that, then that is a means of introducing new bloodstock – if it works.
    Thanks for your information, some interesting points there, and as a matter of interest I have two potted Heliotropium plants in the butterfly house as nectar plants, the Red and Yellow admirals plus the original Lesser Wanderer all visited them frequently.
    As a thought I wonder if some chopped up Heliotrope leaves in artificial nectar may be worth a try.

    #29563

    Jane
    Participant

    This photo shows Monarch crysalis on the left and Lesser Wanderer crysalis on the right. Quite a size difference!

    Monarch-left-Lesser-Wanderer-right-Feb12

    #29557

    Terry
    Participant

    I think you are right Bernie!

    Also; I noticed with Peacock larvae they tend pupate predominately green in colour on the food-plant and brown when on small tree branches, and under the eves of buildings to blend in with the surroundings. but sometimes green when on the outer branches where there are many leaves. It is probably just for camouflage and thus increased survival.

    Question for Norm?
    How many generations do you hope to breed from your Danaus chrysippus? The reason I ask is that “if” I remember correctly the male of this species relies more on pheromones for courtship and I had read that when in-bred, 2 or 3 generations, the females don’t respond to the pheromones and fresh blood needs to be introduced. Now I could have got this totally wrong; and so I will have to find time to read through my book (a huge book I might add) by P.R Ackery and R.I. Vane-Wright, Milkweed Butterflies, as I am sure that’s where I read about this problem. As you already know, Danaus Plexippus has evolved out of using pheromones to subdue the females, going down an evolutionary route more akin to rape, the female being battered to the ground before pairing takes place. If I remember correctly, there is also the problem with Danaus chrysippus of supplying the males with the correct poisons that also help with maintaining fertility, I think some Heliotrope plants were said to contain the right ingredients but yet again this is all from memory so I will need to consult the book on this one. I have never bred Danaus chrysippus myself but remember how my Monarchs loved heliotrope flowers even though they did not require the poisons, poisons that are supplied through crushed leaves and whole plants to those milkweed Butterfly species that do require them).

    I have just found reference in the book after a quick search, to the chemical poisons and they are called Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, these are sequestered by adult males and appear to be essential for the production of danaidone and similar danaine pheromones, the plants most commonly associated with these chemicals and utilised by milkweed butterflies are, families; Boraginaceae, Fabaceae, Senecionaeae, and Eupatorieae. the males search out damaged or withered plants of these species on which to imbibe. Males given access to these poisons are far more fertile than those restricted to plain sugar and water solution and or normal nectar sources.

    #29555

    Anna
    Participant

    What you have done Norm is really inspiring!
    I am going to make sure I have a few plants that the Painted lady Butterfly likes, in pots, just in case I am lucky enough to get another visiting the garden, and will catch it in the hope of a few eggs before releasing it again ( fingers crossed for a fertile female)

    #29554

    Bernie
    Participant

    Based purely on a hunch Norm with no scientific evidence to support it (and this only concerns chrysippus and not plexipus)I think it is more to do with the surface on which they pupate.I will look more carefully next time but I tend to rear the wanderer in wooden cages and those that pupate on the vegetation are green but those that pupate on the wooden parts of the cage are a lightish brown colour.The brownish ones are definitely not diseased and emerge as normal adults.I will ring My friend Don to see if he has any pics of the various colours.

    #29551

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Bernie – is there any factor you are aware of that influences the colour variation? Had not heard of the brown colour before and wondered whether it was because of disease?

    #29538

    Bernie
    Participant

    Some off mine have been green,others brown and others apinky white colour

    #29531

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Great photos Norm and thanks for keeping us updated:)

    #29530

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Pepetuna – the pupa can look distinctly different from a monarch, they can be either pinkish tinged or green and are the size of a small monarch pupa, the one in the photograph measured 19 mm.
    photo here: https://www.monarch.org.nz/2012/02/16/larvapupa/

    #29525

    milkweed
    Participant

    thanks for the update Norm!

    #29523

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hey Norm, thanks for the update. Fantastic stuff… Sounds like you’re going to need a LOT of milkweed.

    #29522

    Zac
    Participant

    23 days, that was quicker then i expected..

    #29521

    Anna
    Participant

    What a thrill to hear that! Good on you Norm….and thanks for the updates.

    #29520

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Great to hear Norm. You will be busy for a while now… hehe

    #29519

    Pepetuna
    Participant

    That’s great news, Norm. Does the pupa look much different from a monarch pupa?

    #29518

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    As an update on the Lesser Wanderer I can report that the female deposited 120 eggs during the 13 days in captivity. During the last 2 days she laid no eggs at all so it was fairly safe to assume she was spent and due to expire after such an effort, which she did. It would be interesting to know how many eggs she had deposited before I caught her. All the eggs eclosed successfully and the first larva pupated today after 23 days, so with more to follow I look forward to the forthcoming adults mating and more eggs in due course. The pupation period is given at 15 days (Australia) but with the weather we are having this could be extended somewhat.

    #29370

    clinton9
    Participant

    #@##@@! weather in Thames today turned to been cloudy ! I thought today was supposed to be sunny with blue cloudless sky, thanks to http://www.metservice.co.nz. @@###**! (frustusted)
    http://www.metservice.co.nz seems to had a poor weather forecasting skills…rather frustusting for us Zac and Clinton the NZ butterfly hunters, end up have to wait for sky to turn blue.

    #29367

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Well done Norm and I wish you every success. She certainly was a smart butterfly to fly past your house;-))

    #29358

    milkweed
    Participant

    I used to breed Lesser Wanderer butterflies when i lived in Taiwan simply by growing various milkweed on my balcony area but I’ve never seen them in New Zealand so this is a very exciting development.
    Presumably the migrants and then offspring that have got to here in the past from Australia, simply died out when the weather became too cold for them, so the chance to breed them in captivity could assist them to have a permanant colony here. Good work Norm!

    #29357

    Anna
    Participant

    What great news this is Norm. I agree with Jane, that was one smart little female butterfly!
    Good luck, and heres hoping for lots of offspring!

Viewing 25 replies - 151 through 175 (of 192 total)

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