Caterpillar died in middle of making crysallise

This topic contains 25 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  YvonneWallis 9 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #14240

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    One of my caterpillars in the J a couple of days and then when I looked at it this morning it has the green crysallise starting to form behind his head but he is straight and lifeless. Was cold last night but thought he would be okay inside. Was it even too cold for him inside or has something else happened? Even though he looks dead I was optimistically hoping he was having a rest and put the heater on this morning but there has been no change. BOO HOO! Yes we have to look at the big picture and accept a few fatalities but any advise about this?

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)
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  • #24513

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Yes indeed, Mike, ROLL ON SPRING! You might be okay with your seed as Jennifer had success with her imature seed the posting is on hear somewhere about seed pods. Rebecca, I’ll cross my fingers for you as the wee one i had was completely black with no sign of colour and what a surprise I got to see her hatch perfectly normal!

    #24512

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hmmm… Doedsn’t sound too good Rebecca. But it won’t do any harm to leave it in place. If it starts oozing brown liquid and is very smelly, wrap it in a tissue, and incinerate it.

    #24509

    Rebecca
    Participant

    Jacqui, one of my chrysalises has been blotchy and dark in a few areas for a few days now. I can see it’s exoskeleton (or it’s dark body), but where normally I would be able to see the orange out line of the wings I can’t see them … the wing area is a murky darker green. Is this chrysalis still alive? It has been like this for a few days, does it have OE?

    #24505

    Mike Hoeta
    Participant

    I haven’t tried planting seeds yet but I’ve pulled little plants out from a friend and repotted them and given them out to people so I’m going to keep an eye on them, (they’re inside) and see how they fare. My own ones are outside (8 plants)under the eaves so they’re quite sheltered and look ok so far, they’re from 4″ high to 12″ I took some seeds from a pod yesterday, and they seem to be immature, a light brown, yet the swan had split for about a day, I note in posts here that they probably won’t be any good. They do look different to the other almost black ones I’ve gathered. I lost a cat in the dreadful storm we had last night, but the one I brought inside is happily munching away yet two days ago he was “dead” amazing. My chrysalis looks like a wasp hit to me it’s a sad sight, I don’t think it’s Oe, oh well roll on the spring

    #24502

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Hi Mike,
    It is very disheatening isn’t it? next year the heat pump will be on 18c as soon as they come inside. The swan plants in pots I had inside for them is on the patio under the polycarbon sheeting along with the bouganvillas and they all seem to have endured the first big frost as have the other sheltered and covered ones in the garden. The second lot of swan plant seeds that I planted inside without the heat pump at 18c and with weeks of not much sunshine,have not been very successful and only three are up at the moment, out of a total of 10 containers with 3 seeds in each.Consequently I now know the cut off for planting and wont be attempting anymore until the warmer months.First batch of seedlings on patio seem to be surviving okay under polycarbon bit i have also put clear plastic bag & some shade cloth over the polystyrene box they are in to keep them protected at colder times – don’t expect them to be growing too uch in the cooler months but hoping they’ll have a good head start by early spring.

    #24501

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Mike

    When they are colouring up, are they colouring up evenly? If they look blotchy, dark here and there but still green somewhere else, this is an indication of Oe.

    I don’t know if that helps you, but if we all learn more about Oe over the winter, and think on ways we can reduce it, then we’re going to do better next year. Just a thought…

    Jacqui

    #24500

    Mike Hoeta
    Participant

    Hi Yvonne, I’m just a newby, but I’ve had the same problem as you, I’ve given up for the winter as my mortality rate has been dreadful, as the weather worsened to storm conditions, even bringing them inside didn’t help. I’ve had cats curled up looking dead then perking up again only to ‘die’ then come back to life and sit on a leaf for days doing nothing just like yours, its terrible to watch. I’ve got two or 3 cats left and one chrysalis which looks doomed, sad. Never mind I’ve persuaded neighbours and friends to take potted plants and I’m going to be keeping an eye on them over the winter. Our local school has reported a big batch of cats, so I might pop down there and have a look.

    #24497

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    This is the university who sent two scientists out here last spring to “see if we had Oe” here. I drove them around Auckland for two days, and we found a few Monarchs which they sampled, taking the samples home to Georgia, and later reporting that yes we did have Oe.

    They left the kits that I mentioned with me, and said they’d be happy for us to send samples to them – but I think it would be better if we do our own analysis here, don’t you?

    Jacqui

    #24496

    MaryL
    Participant

    http://www.uga.edu/monarchparasites/
    click on rearing monarchs and the e-mail is at the bottom of the page. It is located at the Odum School of Ecology at the University Of Georgia in Athens GA. I have posted an article called Butterfly Chronometer It is on how they discovered they have this and the tests they have done, I found this very interesting . I only asked about temperature Darren.

    Mary L

    #24488

    Darren
    Participant

    Hi Mary, a range of 18?-35?C is good to know. Did they mention anything about the humidity? What was the name of the lab?

    #24486

    Rebecca
    Participant

    I was so happy when my most recent caterpillar made a successful chrysalis but it fell on the ground nearly as quickly as it made it. I picked it up, and have hung it up, so I hope it will be ok as it is still in it’s soft stage, it has a few pieces of dirt sticking to it, but hopefully it will be ok.

    #24470

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Yes it certainly surprised me! that’s why when I was having problems and it was smaller and blacker than others that hatched out it didn’t even occur to me that it was going to hatch at such an early time. Maybe smaller develop sooner and the fact I had put the heat pump on 18 as I had the fear some problems may have been due to cold.

    #24461

    Flutterby Monarchs
    Participant

    Yvonne how did you manage a 7 day pupal stage! Wow, my quickest has been about 11! Yeah unfortunately as the days get colder the mortality rate goes up.

    #24371

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Hi Rebecca, my house was cold too and may have been the reason for some of the problems as they had already been running out of food and in colder temperatures when I got the caterpillars. I put the heat pump on once i was aware of the 18 degrees but too late for many problems, although I wouldn’t have thought the caterpillars would have been affected inside by the cooler temperature?? next season i’ll be having the heat pump on 18 degrees for my babies inside the whole time. Makes it harder if i have my dream butterfly house as wont be able to have those temperatures in there in winter and suppose it will be a bit like nature and survival of the fitest in there come winter, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it – I will probably have to intervene again and bring some inside if I find that have problems. They had a better chance in your house than outside so you tried!

    #24353

    Rebecca
    Participant

    The last two of my caterpillars that were making chrysalises have died. I think it is too cold for them to make it, they did get 95% of the way there and then something happens in that last bit where they can’t quite finish with shedding their skin. This is even though I have brought them inside – we don’t have a heat pump or anything like that and my house is quite cold. The swan plants are not in a very warm area. My main reason for brining them in was to protect them from the extreme weather – cold at night, rain, frosts and so on.

    #24279

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Great, thanks for that Meryl,
    The heat pump has been on 18c since the first mishap. Really good to know this.
    Thanks for finding this out for me it is very useful information to have.
    Regards,
    Yvonne

    #24268

    MaryL
    Participant

    Hi Yvonne I have just found out what the ideal temperature should be. I e-mailed a lab that breeds Monarchs in the states They kindly replied. (” You don’t want the temperature to go below 65?F or above 95?F. Ideally, if you have the control, you want the temperature to be around 85?F/29?C. That is the temperature we use in the lab when raising our monarchs”) 65/F = 18/C

    #24122

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    OPTIMISM premature! The large caterpillar that was in a J yesterday had it skin on the plant and a yellowinsh mushy crysallise fallen on the carpet. Add this to the caterpillar that had previously fallen off – now dead. All that is left is the smaller one that hasn’t moved from the same position in 5 days and often has his back quarters hanging down. One successful crysallise and one samall butterfly is all i ahve left from 7. Not good, especially when had none of these problems in the past. I have had the crysallise come off in mature stages and have tied it on. On questioning the friend they said that it was getting cold and they were running out of food – would have that been the problem?? It’s a shame he didn’t get them to me sooner if that was the case as have have copious amounts of food.

    #24111

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    The batch was just tranported in a container that i put the tops of swan plants in from a friend. Meanwhile there is HOPE! The crysallise that turned black, not just the usual dark and see through when they are about to hatch has now HATCHED. Might have been darker because it was smaller as it is the tiniest monarch I have seen at the size just slightly bigger than a red admiral. This is the QUICKEST I have seen a butterfly emerge from the crysallise maybe due to it’s size and being inside?Seeing from my previous post about the small crysallise it was only 1 week ago since it went into the crysallise and then i have never had them emerge so quickly once they have changed colour. Anyway i am now hoping that it was just a series of untimely events are are hoping that the dormant smaller ones are just taking longer to go through their malt.Funny how one newly hatched monarch makes you more optimistic! HE HE!

    #24107

    Darren
    Participant

    There is a gut parasite called O.e. that affects Monarchs, it could be that you had an infection. The spores are very hardy and coat the outside of the eggshell and the leaf as the infected female lays the egg. The first meal the little cat has is it’s own infected eggshell. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the infection. I would suggest treating the containers used for that batch with bleach.

    There are also many other diseases and bacteria they can get of course, but Oe is a particular worry to commercial growers as in captivity it can spread easily.

    #24106

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    I am starting to think there is something wrong with this batch of caterpillars. First (1)when I got them one pretty lifeless in the bottom that ended up dying, (2) one turned into crysallise really little. (it has just turned black today) (3) one kept wondering of plant (trying to go through malt I thought) when he settled on plant back half of body dangled down and he ended up dying. (3) one curled up on the dirt(thought he fell of so put him on the swan for support while he got his feet)he has crawled up the stem but he and (4) have been in the same position for about 3 – 4 days now. There is only one other that went into a crysallise when big and one other big caterpillar and that is the whole batch!!! Not good!!! I have usually had no problems and to have all these problems together, makes me wonder?? Lateness in the season? cold? toxins on the previous plants? some virus? Would the t.v and artificial lights inside have any affect?? The bulb over them is not going but there are other lights in the living area although dim lit and they are not far away from ther t.v. Then how much sunlight inside, they get the morning sun hit the bottom half of the plant and then late afternoon sun hit the plant. Any other advise? Is there something I am doing wrong with this inside batch??

    #24105

    Jean
    Participant

    Hi Yvonne
    I’ve had pillars die while trying too, even when it’s not cold. I think they just run out of puff. Also had 2 more that didn’t fasten themselves properly and fell off while the chrysalis was still soft so it split. Sad but I guess that’s nature’s way and they weren’t meant to make it.
    And then you get the tough little ones like our regular butterfly who’s been around since early March! J:)

    #24104

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Sorry, Yvonne, I don’t know. I always feel if it’s comfortable for me, then it’s comfortable for caterpillars – not very scientific eh?

    #24102

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Thanks for that Stefan, Was wondering if I should have the heat pump on low tonight so the remaining couple of caterpillars are okay. Might put it on low until I hear from you guys – anyone know what the temperature range needs to be within?
    Regards,
    Yvonne

    #24101

    Stefan Olson
    Participant

    It happens from time to time, even when it’s not cold, not sure why.

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