Anyone in Dunedin who keeps monarchs inside?

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    Topic
  • #59272

    milagro
    Participant

    I have one newly hatched butterfly and four more chrysalises getting ready to hatch. I am wondering whether I can safely release these to hibernate outside (in Dunedin) or whether there are any enthusiasts in Dunedin who hibernate their butterflies inside to whom I could pass on my little miracles.

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  • #59332

    scootercat
    Participant

    To clarify, it’s the plants with a chrysalis attached that are brought into shelter, not the butterflies. The butterflies eclose and fly away in their own time. During lockdown I could watch them and get them tagged before they left, but now I am back at work they might be away and I don’t notice.

    #59331

    scootercat
    Participant

    I am in Dunedin and I don’t keep my butterflies inside. Quite a few have pupated on outdoor potplants or large old parsley stalks that were near their swanplant, so I have brought those under the balcony to be more protected from the frost. Others that I can’t move, stuck to the fence etc, are left alone. I notice a few that have come out in the last week haven’t been able to straighten their wings properly, but others are fine. Still some caterpillars chomping away. We have had good weather for autumn so hopefully plenty will survive the winter.

    #59291

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Connie, I have responded to some of your comments in the answer i gave to milagro.

    Have you thought of tagging?

    #59290

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I have been releasing tagged butterflies in the autumn and early winter for years. You don’t need to keep them inside overwinter. It creates an enormous problem feeding them and you are unlikely to keep them alive right through the winter that way. In answer to the other reply. No they don’t fly to Oamaru. They are overwintering in multiple places around Dunedin. We just haven’t been able to pin point them exactly. This year I have seen some feeding in my Strawberry Tree. It is abuzz with insects. My study is level with the canopy and I am enjoying the sight. They have tags but I have not been able to read the numbers. I released the last butterfly about 3 weeks ago so they are hanging around here but I don’t know where. There are definitely overwintering places on the Peninsula and up in the Town Belt. There seems to be one somewhere in Concord. Butterflies have been found at the Chisolm Park Golf Course and at St Clair golf course, also around this area (St Clair) including the pohutakawas at St Clair beach. Also one made it to the forestry above Brighton. The problem is they are hard to see when hanging up and they chose dense trees. I would encourage you to tag. We need more taggers in order to find these sites.

    Your later hatchings may well be infected with OE. I clean all my equipment each year and recently I have not had deformed butterflies. I can test my own as I have a microscope and in previous years I have found OE present and increasing during the season but the majority of distorted butterflys at the end of the season are so because of cold. They dont develop properly in the cold. The build up of OE is more likely if you keep the caterpillars inside because the rain does not wash off the spores.

    I hope that helps

    #59278

    connie
    Participant

    i am in dunedin and i release my indoor ones to the swan plants outdoors and they fly off somewhere.

    and even with some black and green chrys still to hatch out i would do the same if they were viable.

    sadly the last 2 to emerge have folded wings and wont make it. (i have taken a sample for phil lester in wellington in case of parasites) perhaps they been too long as black chrys and no energy left to hang on until wings dried out properly??
    have not heard of an overwintering site in Dunedin . Do they fly up to Oamaru???

    hope to host some eggs again next year (and grow more plants from seed)

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