Fearing a poor Monarch season in Wellington

This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  caroldee 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #49165

    Caryl
    Participant

    Hi Everyone, I have had monarch eggs since the first week of September in my Wellington garden. Usually it’s approx 77 days from egg to butterfly and I help by bringing all the first 2 months of chrysalides inside. But it’s been 74 days since the eggs first were laid and I haven’t one chrysalis. The caterpillars are at least 2 weeks away from forming chrysalides and maybe more, so unless we have a very warm and long summer there will be few generations born this season. I am very concerned. Caryl

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  • #49231

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yay that’s great LesleyD, I hope it won’t be long till I get my first chrysalis too, now that I am putting my cats in the butterfly house they seem to be doing a lot better.
    I did see a brand new bright coloured monarch laying eggs on my plants that I still have outside yesterday but it’s been really windy here in Napier today so I think that puts them off flying around.

    #49223

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve got my first chrysalis !and there are two more big cats mooching round so I expect more by the end of the week. I thought I was going to lose my butterfly house in the wind last night so mighty relieved to see it still there this morning.

    #49208

    LeslieD
    Participant

    Hi Karyl Well I have heaps of big chunky cats in my plastic glasshouse, one is mooching round showing signs it is going to hang itself soon .. and the rest can’t be far off. I spotted one butterfly the other day but nothing is visiting my plants on the deck even on sunny days, none I’ve sighted anyway. Good idea to bring the early chrysalis in .. and I’m pandering to anything that does hatch on the outside plants as well … I reckon I’ve lost dozens of eggs and hatchlings to the weather :(.
    Also I’m moving the bigger plants out of the plastic house on half way decent days and leaving the door wide open all the time to ensure good ventilation in there … I’ve lost a couple of cats to disease and suspect they would be far healthier in a sunny outdoor environment … but this is Welly, so we do what we can.

    #49199

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yes that makes sense – I know it was the over-wintering ones that laid the early eggs, (I’m sure I recognised some of them!) – some of which were obviously infertile and others the wasps got.
    But I haven’t seen any visiting lately, so there does seem to be a big gap here in Napier as well.
    When I go for my walk around the block there’s always one or two fluttering around me – I try and entice them to follow me home!
    But the few I have put in my house are growing so all is not lost!

    #49195

    Caryl
    Participant

    Hi LesleyD
    I have my first chrysalis which is safe inside. I bring all the first chrysalides of the season inside. What really concerns me now is that the past 2 days have been sunny with no butterflies visiting my garden. There were plenty of early female visitors and I have been able to send more than 500 eggs to various places in the South Island. But now I think all the winter over ones have died and now there will be a considerable gap before new butterflies will be born, a few weeks off yet. This is not good news for the Wellington monarch population. Caryl (Seatoun)

    #49177

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Carol Dee – earlier in the season I collected about 300 eggs – and had them in a captive situation so should have had 300 caterpillars. However, not all emerged so I think a lot of the eggs might have been infertile. This does happen.

    Since the weather has been so changeable (sometimes hot/dry, often cold/wet) the monarchs aren’t off to a good start, here anyway. I’m in Auckland.

    Hope that is helpful.

    Jacqui

    #49175

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi, I’m in Napier and for me the season hasn’t started off well here either.
    I had a lot of eggs laid about two months ago but I think the wasps must have gotten to them all either at egg or small pillar stage.
    And now there does not seem to be many butterflies around to lay the eggs.
    I have just found a couple of small pillars on one of my plants so I have put them and their plant in to my ‘butterfly house’.
    I found last year although I still got aphids and preying mantis in there the wasps seemed to stay out so I should have done that earlier.
    I’m still using last years plants too, they have come away a bit after I fertilized but they are not looking wonderful so I will probably look around for some decent looking new seasons plants too.
    I’m in the process of having my little yard and garden ‘renovated’ so have kind of been waiting for that to be finished before sorting out plants!

    #49173

    LeslieD
    Participant

    Hiya

    i’m in karori so I share the pain 🙂 I purchased a plastic greenhouse a little while back and since then Welly has thrown everything at it to get it down .. and it still stands … so blame me for the foul weather and other mayhem. The greenhouse was purchased with a view of raising plants only … however the couple of mature plants I put in to get away from the egglaying had eggs onboard and all have hatched and the caterpillars have thrived. The outdoor plants (potted) have some hatchlings but they are slow growing and only surviving as I’ve moved them away from the worst of the wind and rain. But they are still there and we have some warm weather coming this week (I hope). Its got to get better! I’m new to butterfly raising but I figure its the last generation and the first generation of the season that are so important, so hoping to have some success. I think I probably have about 30 cats and of those 4 or 5 are half grown. The plan is to move the greenhouse cats outside to morph 🙂

    #49168

    Caryl
    Participant

    Hi Again, Yes I feel there will be less winter over females with fewer generations born so less eggs laid in the new season. But if the spring is warmer next season then more eggs will hatch with more butterflies eclosing. I don’t usually bring in caterpillars because they seem so hardy but this Wellington weather has been hostile to caterpillars for weeks now. I am glad I have sent more than 550 eggs to various places in the South Island with mostly very good hatching rates and another 75 to be sent next week. Caryl

    #49167

    Desiderata
    Participant

    Hello Caryl, I am a newish monarch hero, but for me 2016 monarch season has eclipsed 2015 in my garden. I have many cats that I did not have last season at this time.My question is if there is not as many generations born this summer,those females that are left, will they over winter to continue the next generation, and if there are small numbers of over wintering butterflies will the next season show a drop in egg laying?

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