Butterfly with Crumpled wings

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    I have just had a butterfly hatch today (with a lot of help from me) but his wings have not extended and are all crumpled. Can he survive like this?

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    The PowerPoint I was telling you about can be seen here:





    The other thing is Crimpled wings can also be a sign of OE (see link below) that is spread around monarchs. It is more prevelent in our hand reared stock and potentailly very damaging for our Monarch Populations.

    Just incase, I would say keep it away from other butterflies, wash hands, clean area where it hatched etc.





    Jacqui, I applaud your realism, I am “the farmer”, for 60 years I have endured the joys and the heartbreaks of dealing with nature. I’ve lost count of the times I have been out on a cold winters night in pouring rain without a shirt on trying to deliver a calf embroiled in a difficult birth,some sucessful some not, or the mornings at 4 or 5am when I’ve visited my animals and cried real tears because something had died, “if only” I’d spent the night with them—-?
    This is my first year with Monarchs and I have determined that whilst I love what I’m doing and I love all of the butterflies that my efforts have given the chance to, I have disiplined myself to as far as I can allowing nature to take its course. To that end I am witnessing a much higher percentage of deformaties and failures now at the tail end of the season than was evident earlier. It is sad to see, but I believe that if I had intervened and created an unatural invirionment so that these butterflies did hatch out and develop “normally” then my intervention would create much misery for those b/flies down the track so to speak. I might get blasted for this but I really do think that for those butterflies who are destined to over winter then they have to demonstrate an ability to do the hard yards from day one. The future of the species depends on it.—Cheers, Neil



    Aimee – there is a wonderful PowerPoint that circulates about a butterfly. It is a story of a person who notices a butterfly trying to get out of a ‘cocoon’ (but that’s the wrong word – should be chrysalis or pupa) and how it seems to be stuck, so the person does what he can to help.

    The butterfly ends up a cripple, never to fly, and that the person then realises the butterfly needs to have that struggle to get out of its case in order to make it stronger. The analogy is that we become stronger people as we grow, when we are challenged by events that we consider ‘bad’, painful or trying.

    If you would like, I can find it for you and send it to you. Send me an email – jacqui@madambutterfly.co.nz (that goes for anyone who would like to see it. Beautiful photographs in it.)

    I’ve said this many times before, about ‘farmers’ or anyone keeping pets, animals: when you have livestock, you will also have dead stock. It may sound heartless, but all animals are not meant to live to maturity – hence the Monarch will lay up to (or more than) 1000 eggs. Imagine if everyone of those hatched safely! It would be beautiful but the Monarch would soon become like the possum – an ecological nightmare.

    There are several people here (Zoe, Swansong for example) who nurse their disabled butterflies and good on them too. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way – different strokes for different folks. I know you’ll do the right thing.




    Hi Aimee
    Sounds like his wings are still soft so he really needs to be hanging in order for them to dry in the correct position.
    Have you tried putting him on something that will be easy to grip to? I find netting works well. Also what’s the weather like? You might want to bring him inside if he’s not already so he won’t have to contend with wind or rain and can just focus on hanging.
    Hopefully he will find something he can grasp onto and his wings will still have a chance to dry in the correct position. However as he needed help hatching it does sound like he’s weak in which case he may not have the strength to hang on, so you can only do your best.
    If he does end up as a non-flyer then you can always do what I do with my damaged butterflies, which is have them living inside in an enclosure. I actually have 3 at the moment, they all hatched out two days ago in particularly bad weather and had fallen before their wings hardened, so they’re all crumpled. (And sadly I didn’t find them in time – it wasn’t a good morning….)
    They’re quite happy inside though and I provide flowers for them and supplement it with sugar water which I feed them twice a day.
    Anyhow good luck with your guy. Let us know how you get on.



    I have just been in to check on him and his wings have now extended but he won’t hang he justs keeps falling and he only seems to want to walk dragging his wings behind him – any ideas what I can do thanks

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