Newly hatched butterflies dying

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jacqui 2 years, 7 months ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #50041

    TheGrazer
    Participant

    Hi,

    My 11 year old son found three caterpillars on a succulent in our garden (we don’t have any Ewan plants in the garden or nearby). We went and bought 4 swan plants and the caterpillars happily ate lots of the leaves and then formed a chrysalis each. The first buttrfly emerged yesterday and went through its stretching and drying process but was never able to fly, it just crawled around looking like it was trying to get somewhere. We tried feeding it some honey water but it didn’t seem interested. It just got weaker and weaker and died overnight.

    The second emerged today and is showing the same traits, but can’t even hold its wings out, they just flop to one side and it tries to drag itself around.

    Any help please!! My son is enamoured with them and we’d love to get these guys up and into the world.

    We are in North Shore, Auckland.

    Thanks
    Gray

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #50057

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    The whole show may be under water… will email you to set up a time place. You can email me on jacqui@monarch.org.nz too.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #50053

    TheGrazer
    Participant

    Oh wow, thank you so much, that’s very generous. We are in Mairangi Bay, we could come up to the garden show, do you have details of where etc?

    I’ll check the details of the swan plants when I get home, but do remember each one has a plastic tag that says something along the lines of “perfect for Monarch Caterpillars”…..

    #50047

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello The Grazer

    We’ve had something like this reported – where all the caterpillars and chrysalis and butterflies looked absolutely top class, but the butterflies never flew. It was one of our trustees in Christchurch who had it happen to her – she was raising hundreds of monarchs – and she later found out that plants she bought and were told to be “caterpillar safe” had actually received toxic sprays – various pesticides – and so were very toxic to the caterpillars.

    Read about her experience in our newsletter:

    https://www.monarch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/june-2008-news-a4.pdf

    It’s it’s the same thing then your critters are doomed, I’m afraid.

    I would be very grateful if you would email me jacqui@monarch.org.nz with details about the shop/store where you bought them and if there were any labels in the plant. We are trying very hard to educate retailers and growers that swan plants MUST be caterpillar-friendly when they are sold.

    Sorry to hear your news. Please do get in touch as I will be at the North Shore Home & Garden Show over the weekend and if you are nearby will drop a caterpillar-friendly swan plant off to you with caterpillars on it, so that your son’s enthusiasm is boosted.

    Jacqui

    #50046

    LeslieD
    Participant

    that’s sad 🙁 I suspect you are right that they have had poor nutrition. But from my experience (albeit relatively limited) its a surprise they made it into a chrysalis and hatched out. I have seen caterpillars die after someone has tried to feed them something other than swan plant even after they were put onto swan plant later. I hope you have better luck with the last one.
    Maybe someone can give you a couple of caterpillars that have been on swan plants?

    #50044

    TheGrazer
    Participant

    Could be, we didn’t see any evidence of the caterpillars eating the succulent. Unfortunately #2 has died this afternoon as well.

    #50043

    TheGrazer
    Participant

    We’ve located a large swan plant just over the fence, that has been decimated, so we’re thinking these guys have had to leave the swan plant and have made a very long journey to reach our place, where there was no useful food. Perhaps they were starving before they went into cocoon and so had no energy reserves when they hatched…?

    Here’s hoping #3 has more energy, 11yr old is very sad about the outcomes thus far 🙁

    #50042

    mattie
    Participant

    I wonder if it has something to do with the succulent they started life on?

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