feeding butterfly

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  LeslieD 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #53341

    s marshall
    Participant

    3 Butterflies have just emerged from chrysalis I had bought inside . I am keeping them warm – not sure really what to do now I’ve read about feeding but how do I do this?

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  • #53355

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’m in Wellington so yes be somewhat warmer than Otago especially at the moment. My room I have her in would be less than 10 degrees overnight unlike the rest of the house which is 18-20 degrees. Our overnight temps outside are currently 5 or less and day temps are 8- 13 +- 1. But we are unlikely to get frosts and snow is very rare.
    The wind chill can knock the temp down to 1 or 2. I’ll put her out for an hour or two in a sheltered place today (we have rain and southerlies). Apparently they turn on something like a personal anti freeze when exposed to cold. So exposing them for part days before release can enhance their chance of survival. And keeping them in the cool and dark turns off any clever ideas of mating at this time of year and keeps them sleeping and not needing food.

    #53354

    s marshall
    Participant

    I wonder where Leslie is I’m in Otago so my 3 would not survive I’ve put them in a cool dark room

    #53353

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I have a little female that emerged today. I’ve called her Lizzie after our human monarch lol. She is the spare room where it will be cool and dark. I hope to get her outside for spells over the next few days to acclimatize her and then put her on the launching pad (a punga frond) when the weather looks hopeful (at this stage Friday is the only day without southerly gales and rain). The punga frond gets any sun that is going and has seen all my winter butterflies away :). I’ve seen a few monarchs out and about on the sunny spells over the last few days so obviously some of them are surviving.

    #53344

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    During the summer monarchs will live 6 to 8 weeks after they have finished what they are here to do which is reproduce. A female monarch can lay 300 to 500 possibly even 1000 eggs. When winter is upon us they sense that and they will not breed until spring. Although they are sexually mature they go into a state called diapause and they will mate when they sense the temperatures and day link is appropriate. They will fly away and gather in large clusters of monarchs to overwinter. When they are overwintering they just stay together in trees in large groups and don’t fly about unless it is warm and then all they do is look for nectar sources.

    #53343

    s marshall
    Participant

    Thank you, will they live that long , its only June now and the weather will probably get colder until at least September. If I cool them down do they go into a hibernation state?

    #53342

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    You don’t HAVE to feed them. Best to keep them somewhere COOL and DARK so that they sense the weather is not conducive to flying and feeding and mating (which it certainly isn’t). As soon as the bad weather has passed, put them outside somewhere sheltered and where they will get maximum sun (if there is any) and they will fly away when they get warmer.

    Hope that helps!

    Jacqui

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