Monarchs still laying.

This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Butternut 5 years, 2 months ago.

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    Today in my back yard here in Whakatane a tatty female Monarch was busily laying eggs on one of my milkweed plants, no doubt prompted by the sunny day and a temperature of 20 degrees. We humans are guided by our calendars and know it is only 9 or so days to the shortest day, but butterflies are not guided by calendars but by natures signals, temperatures and daylight hours, the latter seemingly not as important as are the temperatures.
    Two hours later I was walking the dog along the river bank where someone was growing milkweed plants on the stop-bank side of their rear fence, and a reasonably fresh monarch was again busy laying eggs. There were also several half grown larvae on the plants, but these will probably not make it to maturity with the colder weather coming. While the days are warm enough it is the cold nights that cause their demise, both as larvae and pupae. Also I have not yet noticed any clustering of butterflies yet in the reserve behind me, another sign of the mild weather we are experiencing.

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    Hi wonderwings – I am relatively new to butterflies but am also finding caterpillars on my outside (but under cover) swan plants and I live in Mosgiel (Otago). We have had a few pleasant days and only a couple of crispy frosts and by the look of the weather forecasts on the news – a lot better weather than Christchurch this winter). I think I have released all the butterflies I am going to get. One I tagged was seen in Dunedin a week ago. I still have one green chrysalis hanging under the porch roof and one on the ceiling in a room I was sheltering the caterpillars in last month – it will be interesting to see if they come to anything – they still look viable and have not gone black and rotten looking like the other failed chrysalis I have had.

    Hopefully someone more experienced can let us know if this is normal behaviour.



    Hi! New to the site and this is my first forum entry. I was looking for conversation about wintering Monarchs because my dining room is still being used as a Monarch Butterfly hatchery and it is now July. I don’t recall seeing caterpillars at this time of year before but when I went out to the garden to bring in another potted swan plant for my hungry creatures, I noticed there are yet more fresh eggs out there. I have seen no other Monarchs, save the ones I am still releasing. Sadly the death rate is much higher than normal with my indoor caterpillars. I don’t have heating in the house and I think the cold is still getting to them. Quite a few just drop off the tree and ‘give up’ for no apparent reason. I brought in another four caterpillars this morning probably post second instar. If I missed any, I would be gobsmacked if they survive our current coastal storm. (Snells Beach) It is NASTY out there!



    Of the numerous monarch eggs laid on my milkweed plant in the garden on 5th July I removed 3 and placed them on a potted plant indoors. 10 – 12 days later they hatched and the larvae are now happily feeding. Today I was inspecting the outdoor plant and found a 1st instar larvae on a leaf, much to my surprise as we have had several frosts since the eggs were laid, so this one was brought into the butterfly house to rear. On my walk along the riverbank where several milkweed plants grow I checked on the 3rd instar larvae that I found recently, they seemed quite at home, and also found three 1st instar larvae feeding. The plants were close to a concrete retaining wall facing west which probably absorbed heat on a sunny day and released it again later in the day, plus the plants the larvae were on were sheltered by an overhanging tree, so they gained a little protection. I will monitor this site regularly to see if the larvae make it through to adult stage, if so it will mean they have bred through the winter and be an exception to the rule that monarchs are diapausal during winter.



    Early this season I had eggs on 29 August and since it was so cold I took the plants inside. 90 days later I had butterflies. So yours may well develop successfully but take much longer. By then spring will well be here. Good luck and let us know what happens to these eggs, Caryl



    A fortnight ago a tattered female laid some eggs on the potted swan plant I had put outside, so I brought it back inside again, but the eggs haven’t hatched. Will they hatch, or should I simply put the plant outside again?



    One of our group members in Ranui, Auckland has Monarchs laying eggs and caterpillars hatching.
    We have the odd caterpillar coming along as well in Massey, Auckland.



    Perhaps nobody has yet told the Monarch butterflies that it is winter. Again yesterday at 2.30 a female was ovipositing on my swan plant. I watched her lay several eggs before she disappeared over the roof. This one was a different female from the last one, not as battered as the previous female.



    Today at mid-day with a temperature of 20 degrees a female Monarch was again ovipositing on the swan plant. At least 20 eggs were deposited, mainly on the lower areas of the plant where there was some shelter from the above foliage. The butterfly was a very battered looking specimen indicating it was probably a late summer individual, thus not diapausal. Because of the cold nights the eggs will fail to hatch.



    Today I saw the seaval healthy mature Monarch butterfly caterpillars in swan plants in Thames. These caterpillars were active & feeding.



    Yes, the Monarch butterflies’s breeding season will lengthen from 8 months a year, to 12 months a year, over next 30 years.

    Summer season will get drier, with droughts becoming more common, while wet season/winter season will be confined to between April and September.

    July to August are only months these Monarch butterflies do not breed.

    As temperature increase the numbers of Monarch butterfly matings, will increase over next 30 years.

    A pair of monarch butterflies mating on 12th June 2013, is a sign that we are heading for future with warmer climate…drier summer and wetter winter, with higher temperature.

    The Australian butterflies as Painted Lady butterflies, will stop migrate from NZ, to Australia during autumntime, and start stay in northern North Island 12 months a year, in future years.



    Great to hear Norm. It was beautiful up in Tauranga Bay the other day and there were Monarchs in large numbers in the trees as well as a pair mating on the road in front of me.

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