Mystery of disappeared caterpillars

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Whitefang 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Topic
  • #53924

    yarg
    Participant

    Last week we proudly showed off our developing caterpillars to visitors. One swan plant had a batch which were about 2cm long. The other plant had a batch which were very tiny. We have just had the unseasonable November rain and cold snap here in North Canterbury. This morning we looked at our plants and all caterpillars have disappeared without trace. has anyone else had this happen?

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  • #54807

    Whitefang
    Participant

    Hi Jacquie, we are in Napier and it’s very hot here.Still getting heaps of eggs, but no baby caterpillars are surviving the first instar stage.The heat seems to have made the plants, one continuous flowering and pod plant.Will try to get some new plants to get the caterpillars through the worst , before trying them on the mature plants.Many thanks for the reply.

    #54509

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello whitefang.

    Whereabouts are you? Keep the plants well watered… the toxins in the sap do get stronger as the plants mature. The monarchs will lay eggs on the new leaves, so the smaller caterpillars will eat the new leaves (less toxic sap) first. Eventually the larger caterpillars will eat the more mature leaves.

    #54487

    Whitefang
    Participant

    I’m new to this, we have multiple swan plants, this is their second year and are covered in pods and flowers.The Monarchs have laid sooo many eggs, some of which have hatched, (evidence of small chewed areas), now there are either no caterpillars or the tiny grubs are leaving the plants.Can the plants become toxic if flowering or is there another reason for no big caterpillars. We have not seen any wasps of any species, around.

    #53930

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Yes-it could be the cold -or could be predators… sorry to hear that!

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