Newly emerged adult with stunted wings

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jacqui 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #34946


    My second last chrysalis split and butterfly emerged last week. It was a boy! I put him outside in the porch the next morning in the sun and when I came home from work he was gone.

    I had one chrysalis left and the adult emerged last night. Its wings failed to expand and now I have what appears to be an otherwise healthy adult with crumpled stubby wings. It can’t fly. Can you tell me why that happened and what I should do with him (I can see that it’s another boy)?

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  • #34954


    Hi Jillian

    There are other problems besides Oe, too. Diseases build up towards the end of the season. As was recently posted on another list about health problems with Monarchs (but it could have been any butterfly or for that matter, any living thing:

    “These problems are not caused by a specific butterfly disease, but are purely by speculative bacteria/fungi on both the larval skins and the host-plant, that under perfect conditions would never cause the slightest problem, and is a natural phenomena.

    I guess it is a bit similar to putting a human into a poorly ventilated, hot and wet prison cell, cramped in with 50 other folk, feeding them on poor quality food, and after a few weeks, seeing how well they are! All the bacteria and fungal spores on the bodies would just love this situation, and as the stress levels rise, and the conditions continue, they would also start to overwhelm these humans. I think the real problem is that when we breed a non-gregarious larval species, we really do have to think very long and hard to be able to overcome these problems.”

    We highly recommend our On Line Course “Create Butterfly Habitat” where you will gain a broader understanding of butterflies and moths in their natural habitat and how to improve their habitat so that you have less “challenges” and higher successes. Next course begins 1 July – more information under the Projects tab if you’re interested.




    Hi Caryl, thanks for your input. The freezer had crossed my mind. For reference, what is OE and is there some way to avoid it if I end up with caterpillars on a plant inside at the end of next summer (thinking ahead!)? Jill



    Jillian, the same problem occurred last week with my last butterfly of the season. I observed that my one failed to get the liquid from its abdomen into its wings and the wings stayed folded. It could have had OE, a parasitic infection which is fatal. Late season butterflies seems to be very vulnerable. I left mine overnight and when there was no change I euthanased it by placing it in my freezer (with tears). I was not prepared to let it be as I have observed a badly injured butterfly take days to die.
    Thank you for caring the way you do, Caryl

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