Caterpillars inside OR outside?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  LeslieD 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #56296

    jaspen
    Participant

    Hi there. We have a large number of Monarch caterpillars in various stages that we have kept on swan plants inside. I’m wondering now, as they look big enough to form chrysalis’ whether I should put them outside so they have more options for where they form their little house? I feel like they might get swooped on by birds (we have a large number of birds that visit our garden). Or will they form their chrysalis’ on the swan plants happily enough?

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  • #56338

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’m not sure it upsets their internal clock but I find they are more prone to getting too dry inside and care has to be taken to keep them away from direct light while still getting light. I bring the ones I have to inside i.e. the one that insist on making their chrysalis in an impossible place for them to hatch safely, the ones that are going to fall or have fallen and such. The rest stay outside in caterpillar castles or in my hothouse or butterfly house.

    #56329

    Vanda
    Participant

    I’ve been keeping my caterpillars outside and collect the chrysalises and put them in the ‘butterfly castle’ so I can tag them when I get home 🙂

    I wonder if keeping caterpillars and chrysalises inside (where it’s warm) will somehow muck up their diapause clock? This is the main reason I keep them outside but I’m not sure there’s any evidence for this. Anyone know?

    – Vanda, at Taupō

    #56300

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Yes, they’ll form pupae on the swan plant. What I have done in the past is put the potted plant in the middle of a tray, and fill the tray with water. So when they go looking for the Perfect Place, they get to the water and realise their options are limited. Nothing wrong with a swan plant on which to pupate!

    #56298

    LeslieD
    Participant

    birds won’t eat them but there are other things that will .. shield bugs, earwigs, praying mantids, spiders, wasps .. the list goes on. So good chance you will lose some to predators. As for staying on the swan plants to pupate .. some probably will,but a lot will wander off and find a spot of their choosing that you may or may not see. That’s just how they work :).

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