OE? Decontamination?

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  • #14779


    I have had one of my most successful monarch seasons yet, with at least three dozen healthy butterflies. However I have also had about 6-10 butterflies with various types of wing deformities. Some have had ‘bent wings’ – with the first one I thought it might have been hanging somewhere crowded when its wings dried, but since have had quite a few. These butterflies are otherwise healthy and have lived for up to a month on flowers or honey water. Others have had really screwed up wings – often one wing is fine but the other looks like paper all screwed in a ball. These guys don’t tend to live very long. From the little bit of research I’ve done, perhaps the deformed butterflies have OE? If so, do I need to do anything now to decontaminate my swan plants before next season? Or could there be something else wrong with them?

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  • #27116


    Hi Jo,
    It is doubtful whether decontaminating your swanplants would achieve much as overwintering monarchs can harbour the Oe spores, which are then transmitted to the spring generation. Oe is a naturally occuring disease amongst wild populations of monarchs, and as the population increases the infection can become more severe to the point where butterflies emerging from the chrysalis can be deformed. Crowded conditions can exacerbate the disease.

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