Caterpillars/butterflies in Auckland heading into June

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #59352

    DD
    Participant

    It’s the end of May and I still have many caterpillars and several chrysalises outside on Auckland’s North Shore. In fact they seem to be doing better than ever because most pests seem to have disappeared as well as aphids. Two butterflies emerged yesterday. Are the caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies all okay outside – 14 degrees and rainy today? When might I start to see them suffer/die, e.g. if temperature is constantly below x degrees? I know this is nature, survival of the fittest, etc. but it’s still hard…

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #59383

    LeslieD
    Participant

    There are a lot of fails this time of year no matter what you do. Pays to celebrate the successes and try to put the fails behind you.

    #59372

    vickibee
    Participant

    Sadly I think it has succumbed to the colder weather as it’s made no progress past the initial crack in the shell yesterday and can’t see it moving 😞

    #59361

    vickibee
    Participant

    Hi leslie – It is sheltered from the Southerly luckily but we live at the south coast so it will not be warm that’s for sure. It does get some sun.
    So it hasn’t broken out of the crack in the chrysalis – whether it’s decided it’s too cold today and to hold off until tomorrow I am not sure…
    Hope it hasn’t given up.
    Trick to move it as it’s just attached with the few mm’s of thread hanging under a fence railing – so not that easy to move it indoors to the quite cool place.
    I’ll guess tomorrow we will see if it has survived it’s semi hatch 🙁

    #59359

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I live in Wellington and have released my last two this week. I had the chrysalids inside but as soon as the wings were dry after eclosing I put them in our cold laundry at night in a caterpillar castle (weather outside was raining and very cold). As soon as there was a sunny patch I put them outside and both flew off when they warmed up. Keeping them in the cold helps them condition to the cold and gives then a better chance of survival. If the position it is in is relatively sheltered from the southerly we are about to get its probably ok to stay where it is. Hopefully it gets the sun when there is some? It does help if they are put in the sun if you want them to fly. sometimes I have them for several days before weather is ok and then I try to give them some nectar before putting them in sun. If they need it they will drink it.

    #59358

    vickibee
    Participant

    Hi – I assume this would apply to Wellington today as well? My one is hatching roday and it’s grey overcast and 11-12 degrees with a little rain forecast. No wind at present. Bringing in it would be tricky because it’s only just started hatching BUT is attached to the underside of the deck wooden beam not a plant or something I can chop.

    Do I leave it outside to hope for the best. Sun forecast tomorrow – not sure how it will go overnight in the cold and 10 degrees.

    #59354

    DD
    Participant

    Thanks, Jacqui. That’s really helpful and reassuring.

    #59353

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    We are having many inquiries from people wondering what to do in this weather. Some people take them indoors…

    If you keep monarchs indoors where it is WARM and DRY, they will sense it’s summer and want to look for nectar and breed. When the days are short and the weather is cool, monarchs go into diapause, meaning that they won’t breed although they’re sexually mature. The stronger ones will survive the winter and mate when it is warm again. This helps the gene pool by ensuring the healthier specimens survive – it’s Nature’s way.

    Monarch butterflies are wildlife, they’re not domesticated. They really needs to take their chances outdoors. Remember that a female monarch can lay a thousand eggs… and only two need to survive to continue the species. Some of those eggs are destined to become food for other species: predators, parasites, pathogens… or even the soil.

    They are used to the wild, the weather, rain… even snow. Some years ago there was a freak snowstorm in their overwintering habitat. The local people and scientists were afraid that all of the monarchs had been killed but some were still alive under the snow!

    The best thing you can do is to leave them alone… observe them. If any eclose you might like to move them to a sheltered position on the northern (sunny) side of your home where any warmth from the sun will get to them – even if the day is overcast. You don’t need to protect them from rain as they are waterproof but if they’re out of the wind they will fare better.

    Hope that helps!

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.