June Chrysalis in Wellington

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    Topic
  • #44387

    LiamMcElhinney
    Participant

    We are well into June and to my astonishment I have a Monarch caterpillar that I have managed to get to the Chrysalis stage on 5 June 2015! I am not sure that it will continue to thrive but have brought it indoors to the heat.

    My problem is:

    if it becomes a butterfly in Winter what do I do with it in terms of feeding? I have a conservatory where presumably it could survive until spring if it had plant food.

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  • #44395

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    They don’t need to feed if they are cool and dark. You are simply replicating what it would be like for monarchs in the wild without the wind and the wet. The wild monarchs form large clusters staying close together and very still in the tree tops until there is a sunny warm spell and that is when they know to search for nectar. On cold wet days with little light they will stay put in trees and conserve their energy.

    #44391

    LiamMcElhinney
    Participant

    Seems to be a good plan Jacqui except for the last sentence. I assume the butterfly will need nectar to survive so how do I provide nectar in a cardboard box in the bottom of a wardrobe?

    Liam

    #44390

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Liam

    Will repeat it here FWIW. When the butterfly starts to get active you need to convey the message to the butterfly that it’s not pleasant outdoors. Cold and dark the butterfly could cope with – but not wind and heavy rain.

    So rather than keeping it warm and bright (which is what a butterfly would equate with midsummer) put it somewhere cool and dark and it will wait for the weather to improve. So then, within the next few days when the weather starts to improve, put it outdoors again – even if it’s cool and dark – but somewhere where it will be out of the wet, and where any smidgeon of sunlight will hit its wings and the wind can’t get to it. It will fly adjust naturally to the weather and fly away when it’s warm enough to somewhere more sheltered.

    I would put it in a carton or cardboard box in the bottom of a dark wardrobe, in the coolest room – or something similar.

    The butterflies need NECTAR to survive and in the spring they will mate and then the females begin egg-laying.

    Hope that helps.

    Jacqui

    #44388

    Caryl
    Participant

    Please see the post below and Jacqui’s answer which informs you as what to do.
    I am in Wellington too, in Seatoun. Love to have further contact with you, my email is
    catlovercaryl@gmail.com

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