Non-flying butterflies

This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  TgaLiz 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #39027

    SJRose
    Participant

    Hi everyone.. My family have enjoyed each and every minute of raising our tiny caterpillars and watching them grow. We were delighted when the first 2 made it to the pupa stage.. yesterday morning they emerged looking absolutely perfect, but neither of them can fly and they appear to be unable to walk properly.. one in particular keeps falling onto its side or forwards and ends up doing a somersault. What could be the matter with them? It’s heartbreaking.. they are both male, enormous and look perfect, no damage to their wings etc. Please help / advise.

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  • #39068

    TgaLiz
    Participant

    Wonderful news! Sometimes all that is needed is time. Lovely sunny day here in Tauranga and I’ve enjoyed watching an immaculate female laying a lot of eggs on my giant swanplant. It is in a very sheltered spot, north facing, so hopefully we have another mild winter as NIWA has predicted.

    #39055

    SJRose
    Participant

    Great news which i’m desperate to share with you all…..
    One of the butterflies has just flown off into the big wide world!!!! YAY!!! (the one that emerged on Tuesday afternoon and showed no sign of flying), i’m so happy πŸ™‚
    The weather finally brightened up today and i had moved the butterflies into my bathroom which gets all the sun, within a couple of hours he was flying about all over the place and kept going to the window.. i opened it wide and off he went.

    The other one amazingly is looking a little brighter, is upright and has stopped shaking. The problem seems to be his legs.. they are all folded up beneath him and he can’t seem to stretch them out. Every now and then today he uses his body and wings to lift himself up.. but then falls over backwards. This is however a vast improvement on yesterday when he was flat on his side, shaking violently.
    Maybe, just maybe he could still be in with a chance.

    Photo’s look great! wow so many, amazing.. thanks for sharing.

    Suzanne.

    #39051

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Elizabeth’s pictures are here:

    pics

    #39045

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    TgaLiz,

    I liked your comment “so we know nothing she does is personal – just life”. regarding Mother Nature, it is very apt.

    #39042

    TgaLiz
    Participant

    Hi Suzanne, how are things going now? I hope you have at least one happy butterfly, and it has the sense to stay dry and wait for better weather before venturing out. Has the 2nd one lasted the day? I think I would have left it, but tried to get it hanging up again if possible. Horrid to see them struggling when we are wanting to see them flying free. Yes, Mother Nature is very random, but she did blow a lot of amazing Blue Moon butterflies into the Bay of Plenty over Easter, so we know nothing she does is personal – just life. Good luck,

    #39039

    SJRose
    Participant

    Hi TgaLiz.. I did follow your advice last night, thanks.. i put him onto a stick and popped it into a small open tank, however today he is lying on the floor on his side again and one of his wings is shaking violently. So i’m thinking should i be considering putting him out of his misery? what if he’s in pain.. but also afraid of ending his life and its something that would have come right?

    The other butterfly however is still quite happily sitting on the curtain, making no attempt to fly but seems to be ok.
    The weather here in Hamilton is pretty cold, stormy and POURING with rain today so i’m hoping that in his case, as Jacqui said yesterday, he is just taking his time.

    If this was happening to one of your butterflies, would you wait and observe a while longer? or do you think he’s suffering?

    (ps. Mother Nature is being most unfair to this poor little creature.)

    Thanks heaps for your help so far.
    Suzanne.

    #39038

    TgaLiz
    Participant

    Hi Suzanne, I’ve just sent a couple of photos of my Monarch ‘classroom’ to Jacqui, so check the photo page later today and use the link to ‘recent photos’ so you can see what I mean by sticks for them. Might make more sense than my description.
    I also keep the ages and stages separated, as the bigger cats definitely harass the smaller ones, and attempt to stop others their own size from getting the best food.
    Hope you continue next summer, as Monarchs need all the help they can get to survive the wasps and praying mantis’. But there will always be failures sometime too – that’s Mother Nature!

    #39032

    TgaLiz
    Participant

    Hi Susanne, I’ve raised almost all my butterflies inside to keep them safe from the wasps. Can you find a strong twig or small branch – rough rather than smooth finish is better – and encourage the butterfly to cling to that, then put the branch in a jar so the butterfly can hang with nothing touching its wings? Recently in the cooler weather I have had a couple hang like that for almost 36 hours before their wings harden enough to fly. If you have any sun, put the jar outside in the daytime and they will fly away when they are ready – better put the jar on a table if you have animals around! Good luck!

    #39030

    SJRose
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Jacqui, i’m feeling a little more hopeful now and praying that they simply need more time. One seems to be quite happy sat on the curtain at the moment but the other is still falling onto its side after trying desperately to walk.
    I’m in Hamilton.. the monarchs were raised indoors on plants i’d grown myself from seedlings (always been indoors) so can safely say they were not sprayed.
    I do have 2 dogs that wear flea collars but they are outdoor dogs, they do come into the house for a few hours in an evening but not in the same room as the caterpillars were kept.
    Everything had gone so well up until this point, this is the first time i have raised Monarchs inside and my family and i have loved watching the tiny caterpillars emerge from the egg, grow into big chunky caterpillars, then pupate (which was simply amazing to witness!).. then such perfect looking, stunningly beautiful butterflies emerged.. ok, i’m putting my positive hat back on and praying that tomorrow will be a better day for them. πŸ™‚
    Suzanne.

    #39029

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Whereabouts are you, SJRose? Perhaps there’s someone close to you that could advise? My thoughts are immediately that it’s the same symptoms as occurred to Vicki a few years back – beautiful healthy looking butterflies but severe neurological damage caused by sprays on the swan plants.

    Search here (to the right) on sprays and pesticide and see if you can find the story.

    Did you raise them outdoors or indoors? If indoors, do you have pets with flea collars on, or plug-in pest controls? Or anything like that? If outdoors, how long have you had the plants and can you confirm that they haven’t seen any sprays or spray drift?

    Sorry to hear you’ve got that problem. Perhaps you’re somewhere cold and the butterflies just need a bit more time before they’re strong enough to fly. I am in Auckland and yesterday one of mine that I thought wasn’t going to make it, finally flew away today.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

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