Saving fallen J ing caterpillar or fallen chrysalis

This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  rob cooper 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #15194

    bops
    Participant

    Saw a post about fallen caterpillar and wanted to help anyone else with the problem from my recent experience.

    I have saved at least 5 caterpillars that have fallen in the last couple of weeks (the leaf they are on is eaten by another caterpillar). If they fall when they have started the process and are not moving, are curled up and looking sickly green (that the colour that tells you they are now unable to move and need help) and looks like a caterpillar in its death throws, it can be saved. Get a cotton wool bud cut one end off and stick it in blob of blue tac upright and then put the catepillars tail end on the top end (it seems to grip on without reason). Now put a cushion of tissue or paper underneath the caterpillar (the floor of the container you have stuck the cotton bud onto) as often they fall at the end of the process when they are doing that twisting thing. All of mine have then in the next few hours become crysalis but a few have fallen off the cotton bud at the final closure stage when they twist a lot and luckily I have seen them just in time and have got some tweezers and picked them up by the cremaster and tied a piece of cotton around the cremaster post and hung it up(naturally it would thrust the barbed hooks of the cremaster onto the silk pad which would then enable it to toss off the old larval skin and so be enable it to get out of its crysalid otherwise the metamorphis process would be messed up). I have a only had one fail (it dropped a long way!!) The crysalis turns brown when it fails.

    Sorry this is long but I hope it explains it so others can do the same, and it DOES work because it recreates what the caterpillar is trying to complete.

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #51827

    rob cooper
    Participant

    cool we luky dont have any fall off i did stuff one up last year i was new to it yea went small thought whats wrong with you tried to help put it on a stick it fell off splat it was a lesson we do so well now

    #51826

    Treez
    Participant

    Thanks heaps Jacqui!

    I thought the chrysalis had to hang vertically to form properly but obviously not!

    Great work!

    Theresa

    #51810

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Treez

    OR you can leave the fallen chrysalis to develop on its side, so long as the day before (when it’s starting to change colour and you can see orange and black inside) you have put the chrysalis next to something it can climb up.

    I use those umbrella-type food covers all the time just for this purpose.

    Otherwise I would be spending all day, every day, tieing or pinning pupae.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #51801

    Treez
    Participant

    Hi bops

    I just wanted to finally say Thank you so much! for this! This advice has saved quite a few caterpillars/chrysalises.

    Theresa

    #47336

    Adrienne J
    Participant

    Thanks Caryl – we are with-in flying distance of Irving Street 🙂 Since I wrote, a fallen caterpillar, that we couldn’t attach to a cotton bud, has changed & is now attached to the bottom of the bud. I put them thru the lid of a yoghurt pottle. All so interesting – & time wasting!!

    #47335

    Caryl
    Participant

    Adrienne, I sent many eggs to Gore in October and many butterflies eclosed from them. Christine had requested them. She lives in Irving Street. I live in Wellington. Congrats on saving the fallen J’s. Well done. Caryl

    #47333

    Adrienne J
    Participant

    Thank you for this – I have just rescued 2 caterpillars trying to become J’s. We have kept swan plants growing for 3 seasons (in Gore) with no sign of butterflies & have been unable to get caterpillars – unless we paid $15 for one on a small plant. Suddenly last week I found we had caterpillars & more appeared each day which has meant a panic to find more plants. It has been more costly that keeping a cat!! However we hope the plants will regenerate for next season – in the meantime some have adjusted to pumpkin & others are rapidly changing. Next problem will be food for the butterflies. My husband has enclosed, with net, our front veranda.

    #47127

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Photo here

    #47123

    Willis008
    Participant

    Thank-you for the advice. I found a heavy, unmoving caterpillar at the base of a pot. Put it to one side for the night, hoping he would revive – nothing. Looked up this forum in a last ditch effort before euthanasing him and realised that he was possibly a fallen J….tried the cotton bud trick and to my amazement (and sorry to admit it, joy!) he not only turned into a chrysalis but even managed to successfully embed his cremaster into the cotton bud. As we all know, there are some sad and often quite unpleasant casualties if you breed a lot, and it is so wonderful to have a miracle story!

    #38848

    Caryl
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the most helpful tips here. My problem is not that they (the J’s fall) but that they begin to twirl to make the chrysalis and for some reason cannot make it, the cremaster ends up hanging as does the dead caterpillar in a straight line. Perhaps the heavy rains has caused some of this but I have even observed it inside. Is there anything I could have done?

    #38828

    Pandydo
    Participant

    Thank you so much. This saved my little guys life! 😀

    #29945

    carols
    Participant

    I have had a couple of fallen Js, which I have put on a bit of paper towel in a small container (so they can’t fall out) and they have successfully completed their transformation into a chrysalis without needing to be hanging up.
    Very adaptable creatures 🙂

    #29936

    medusa
    Participant

    It has been windy in Nelson today and one of my ‘J’s fell down, I checked all the advice from you wonderful people and did the ‘cotton bud’ recomendation, I am ecstatic that it looks like it may have worked. Thank you very much, I have learned yet another very important lesson today and my ‘fallen’ J looks like it might make it.

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