Pupation

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  snufflesnz 12 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #12847

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    I have had quite a few caterpillars fall off my plants when the leaf they were attached to has been eaten by other caterpillars. I have successfully hung them up with cotton and then attached the cotton to the cremaster when they have shed their skin. but…

    Can anyone tell me how to help a caterpillar that is pupating but is not actually attached to a silk. I have had a number of them in the past few days and tried hanging them upside down but they can’t seem to get their skin off. Has anybody got any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Sara.

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  • #16091

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    Great to meet you too Jacqui and many thanks for the swan plants, some will be used as food for the caterpillars I have left and the rest will be planted out.

    #16085

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great to meet you today, Sara. You’re doing a great job.

    Jacqui

    #16082

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    The one on my garage door and some others are hanging straight and have died. I’m not too worried as there are still plenty of healthy ones sucessfully making it to a pupa. I have over 200 chrysalis at the moment and the butterflies emerging are all healthy.

    #16075

    VickySteele
    Participant

    Hi Snufflesnz. I’ve had some caterpillars this year fail to pupate – either getting their skin partially off or dying whilst trying. I’ve found that the end of a crop of caterpillars can be less healthy and are more likely to have this problem. Parasite or disease, or accidental exposure to a chemical can also be a cause.

    Occasionally I have some who muck up their silking and I move them if I think they’re at risk of falling. If they are knocked off, caterpillars can still pupate while lying down. If this happens to one of mine I put it on a flat surface (a dinner tray works great) and hang it up as soon as its skin is off so it doesn’t end up with any flat spots.

    Is the one on your garage door still in a J shape, or is it hanging straight? You could try touching its antenna to see if it reacts. When the weather gets cooler they will take longer to pupate.

    #16072

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Oh Sara – good stuff from Terry. I read you wrong, I thought you were talking about when the butterflies emerge from the chrysalis!

    The other point I should have told you, which should encourage you. Monarchs in the wild have about a 5% chance at survival. While being conscious of those who don’t make it, in what you’re doing, focus on those that do, and realise that each “failure” is actually a learning experience for you.

    If you counted the success rate, you’d see that you’re a huge improvement on the 5% — even at 50% that’s something to be very proud of.

    Hope that encourages you. Keep up the good work.

    Jacqui

    #16071

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi All – I find that the best method for this problem is to let the larvae pupate without the silk pad, place a soft material like cloth or kitchen paper under the larvae so they fall on to something soft or just wait until the ones that pupate on the ground have hardened off for about 3-5 days then handling gently just glue the pupae up by the cremaster (the tail end) to a twig or something similar using superglue or an all purpose glue like Bostik. Make sure you do not get glue on the body of the Pupae or they may not be able to emerge.
    I do this with many species and encounter few problems.

    Terry

    #16070

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Sara – I think someone else has posed a similar sort of problem in the forum here. I’ve got so much to do tonight, I can’t spare the time to look, but to me it sounds like there’s a general problem with your population – could be a disease or a genetic fault pehrhaps. Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow or Thursday and we can talk more about it. I’ll try and come and see for myself.

    Will you phone me tomorrow, 0274 814 811, please?

    Jacqui

    #16069

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    Thanks for your replies.

    The caterpillars haven’t made a silk, they are hanging upsidedown by four of their back legs. I know sometimes the silk can be hard to see, but there really is no silk there. I have one on my garage door and it has been hanging there for about 30 hours and I’m pretty sure it is dead now. Another one started to shed it skin but couldn’t get it off, it struggled for ages but to no avail.

    #16068

    Gilly
    Participant

    I think other Trustee Vicky has more knowledge about this. On a few occasions, I have managed to get a toothpick and ‘catch’ the silk and then put toothpick with J on the rim of a glass.. put something heavy on the toothpick and they have gone into chrysalis and can then tie chrysalis up with a thread…

    #16067

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hmmm… Sara — I seem to recall that someone (in the US) had devised a method whereby they put the pupae on the edge of a shelf or something, so that when they emerged they could still hang down. I think it was in dplex — a worldwide discussion group on the Monarch, Sara, you might like to join.

    Anyone wanting to join, go to http://monarchwatch.org and in the middle column, second item down (by the Monarch butterfly icon it says “Dplex-L Email List – Stay up to date on Moanrch news. Click on that and follow the process.

    I will draw Gilly’s attention to t his, she might remember.

    See you tomorrow!

    Jacqui

    #16066

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    I meant to say at the beginning, I have had quite a few caterpillars that were in J’s, fall off the plants.

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