Tagging

This topic contains 22 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Jacqui 12 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #12803

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi all

    Hopefully this will be a place where everyone who is involved with tagging can place their thoughts and comments, tips on what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, what they’re learning, what’s going wrong, ideas for improving the system.

    One tagger had told me that the Monarchs keep coming back to her garden, and she’s diligently logging each sighting in – thanks for that. Two people report that the Monarchs take off and are never seen again. They were questioning whether the tags were coming off.

    If you lose the link to the forum, you will find it about halfway down the right-hand side of the page, under "Discussion" – but we plan to make some changes to the website soon to make it easier to navigate.

    OUTOFDATE: If you haven’t got tags, or if you require more tags, please email me, jacqui@monarch.org.nz. To make it easier for me, please tell me:

    - Your login / user name

    – How many tags you require

    – Your mail address

    UPDATED: To order tags, click on the "Order Tags" button when you are logged in to the dashboard.

    If your tag numbers don’t show when you go to log on your details, please email me with your tag numbers – I may have not activated them.

    Monarchs are very busy and plentiful in the more tropical parts of NZ, but there are still some regions where they haven’t made their first appearance yet – NOT TO WORRY! They will come!!

    The wasps are very busy up here in Russell, but where the milkweed is grown in a wasp-free environment, we are getting lots of beautiful Monarchs.

    All power to you! Your work is wonderful. You might also help us by emailing me contact details for your local newspaper so that I can contact them with stories. If they print a story about you and your efforts, then more people will be on the lookout for your tagged Monarchs.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jacqui

Viewing 22 replies - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
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  • #16221

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Ange!

    Why don’t you write a letter to the Whakatane newspaper? People love reading Letters to the Editor, and it might just create some interest there.

    Just an idea…

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #16220

    Hi all
    I would love to meet up with anyone that is heading to the Whitford site.

    I am also trying to locate the Whakatane site – I had been given details of where it was, but when I visited there was nothing. so feel I was given the wrong details.

    Also a note about monarch migrations:
    Most probably NZ monarchs have come from western USA stock. http://www.xerces.org/Monarch_Butterfly_Conservation/western_migration.htm

    So the behavier that they show could be similar to that of the Western USA monarch rather than the Eastern butterflies that do the “Great Migration”. Just something to think about.
    I have visted a couple of these sites and they are truly amazing – if you are in the eastern USA anytime in winter its not far to a site!!!
    Here is a list of easy access sites:
    http://www.xerces.org/Monarch_Butterfly_Conservation/sites_to_visit.htm

    Ellwood, Santa Barbara had to be my favourite. http://homepage.mac.com/cjbowdish/ButterfliesEllwood012107/index.html

    Angie

    #16217

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    To simplify the method of ordering tags, there is now a button on the dashboard, after you have clicked on “Research”, saying “Request tags”.

    Please use this button to request more tags.

    #16200

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Sure Sara – will email them privately, as this is on private land. I’ve already told one of the taggers (in Howick) about it, and he was going to liaise with the land-owner and go take a look.

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #16199

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    Well if the Whitford one is Whitford near Manukau, I can go and see that one, take photographs and some binoculars with me, do you have details for that one?

    Sara.

    #16198

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Large Tree opposite 21 Islington Street. Wintering over” is what they’ve recorded. I believe that is part of Anderson Park.

    OH I WISH I COULD GO TAKE A LOOK. 🙂 🙂

    And also reports of clusters in New Plymouth and Whitford (phone call). So it’s happening! We should get some tagging reports from people further away than “next door” now.

    If your tagging efforts haven’t been reported in your local newspaper(s), why not give me their details and I’ll contact them with a press release.

    J.

    #16197

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    That’s excellent news Jacqui, can you give me the details of the cluster in Napier, we have family in that area.

    Thanks.
    Sara.

    #16194

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi all

    Exciting news last night! Two reports, yes TWO, of clusters – one in Wanganui and the other in Napier!

    I wish we had people in those areas could go look and see if any of our tags are on them (but I doubt it – as we didn’t have much tagging happening on those two areas).

    I have asked the Wanganui people to take some photos and send them through to me. And will alert the Napier press to take some photographs, as they’re in a public park.

    Great stuff.

    #16191

    snufflesnz
    Participant

    I’m tagging approximately 12 new butterflies a day at the moment, about an even number of males and females. All of them so far have been strong and healthy, the only casualities are a couple that have fallen from their chrysalis and haven’t managed to grab hold of anything and I haven’t been there to help.

    I have been on hand most of the time to check they are all ok and if they don’t manage to fly off, they go into my greenhouse overnight and usually fly off the next morning. The casualities are brought into the house at night and fed and put out in the sun during the day.

    I’ve seen a few of my butterflies on my neighbours large orange tree during the day and they also fly round the garden, a few of them have even come to say hello and land on mine or my partner’s hand. I’m not sure how many of them go on the orange tree, but is there a chance they could overwinter there, or will they be hanging round because the weather has been warm and sunny?

    Sara.

    #16187

    I seem to be mainly tagging females at the moment. Older wild females laying eggs in the garden and hatchlings mostly are female.

    Angie

    #16179

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    This is something Barrie Frost wrote about ‘diapause’ in March:

    In North America Monarch butterflies that emerge in the summer live about one month and tend to move only a limited distance. However Monarchs that emerge in the autumn, around about the autumn equinox, are quite different in several ways.

    First, they don’t produce enough of the hormone (unfortunately called juvenile hormone) to reach sexual maturity. This is called diapause (diapause = period of dormancy between periods of activity). Second, they live a surprising six or more months.

    Third, they become migratory and show a real urge to fly southwest to their overwintering site in Mexico. Around the spring equinox they finally become sexually active and then move north to around Texas and breed. It is their off-spring or even the next generation after that that finally reaches their northern limits.

    It is the autumn tagging that resulted in the discovery of their long migratory journey. So it is extremely important for NZ monarch taggers to tag as many butterflies as possible toward the end of March and throughout April.

    It is these butterflies that may be attempting to migrate north, and they are the most likely to travel the greatest distance. Also fall is the time when the monarch population reaches its peak. Although the chances of locating these butterflies is small it increases considerably if members of the public and MBNZT also locate, record and monitor the clusters of monarchs that form in late autumn and over the winter.

    Consequently I would urge everyone to report to MBNZT all clusters they find, and to monitor them on a fairly regular basis. Some clusters are temporary and break up after a while, whereas others may last a month or two in the same place. Moreover, its in these clusters that one is most likely to find a tagged butterfly that has travelled a considerable distance.

    So good luck, good tagging, and good hunting for clustered monarchs.

    Many thanks,

    Barrie
    _______________________________________
    Barrie J. Frost, PhD, LLD, FRSC,
    Professor Emeritus of Psychology,
    Biology and Physiology
    Queen’s University, Dept. Psychology
    Kingston, Ontario (Canada) K7L 3N6
    Tel: (613) 533-2484, Fax: (613) 533-2499
    http://psyc.queensu.ca/~frost

    #16163

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Isabella.

    Great work! Those wasps are terrible for the butterfly population.

    The Monarchs will no doubt be taking nectar from the Zinnias. It’s a great flower for butterflies.

    Jacqui

    #16161

    Anonymous

    I have had about 200 butterflies hatch in my garden this season which has been a joy to myself and my daughter. I had a bit of a rocky start with many paper wasps around but they have now gone and so have many of the butterflies. I’ve only recently found out about tagging and today my daughter and I tagged 4 which was very exciting( i hope it wasn’t the same one over and over!)Ill keep my zinnias in for another couple of weeks as the butterflies love them and altho they can’t eat them they sit on them all day long. thanks Jacqui for all the information

    #15989

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Burness — I hope that you are logging in the details as explained. Here is how:

    As you tag and let butterflies go you then should complete the release details on line. Here’s a couple of tips: Write the details into a book if you can’t log them in straight away. And when you first get the tags, check to see how the numbering works – as it is much easier for you if you tag them in numerical order.

    Write down your login and your password when you create these. If you give something a capital letter, it’s important that you are consistent when logging in again. Otherwise the system doesn’t work!

    If you forget your password, there is a link there you can click on, and a new password will be generated. But please try to remember them, it creates more work for us if you forget your login.

    Go to the website. Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click on Login under ‘Meta’. When you log on the next page you will see will be the dashboard.

    You will see tabs such as Profile and Research, on a bright blue border. Should you want to change your profile – or add further information about yourself – you can do so here. Next to the Profile tab is the Research button.

    Click on this, and you will see the results of research we’ve undertaken so far. Monarch butterfly sightings were started in 2005, to collect information as to the location of these beautiful butterflies (as far south as Stewart Island) and sightings of overwintering colonies. In the spring we started on pest sightings, and from this we learned that the most common pest is the Asian Paper Wasp – and we hope to do something to counter its predation.

    Underneath are the results of transect samples – these figures will change as more people complete sightings and transects.

    There are two other tabs – Transect Walk and Tag Butterfly (if you have signed up for both). Click on “Tag Butterfly”.

    When you obtained tags from us we allocated them to your login name in the database. (Note – if you’ve chosen a login name which is not “related” to your name or email address, I (Jacqui) might not twig that it’s you – so please, when you email me with your name and email address, tell me your login too!

    As you tag and release butterflies, you complete the release details on line. The first tag number will be showing.

    The date will default to the current date s it’s easiest to enter the details at the same time (or thereabouts) that you tag them. However, it can be changed if you log on some days after you have released your tagged butterfly.

    You will need to enter the location of the release – and the postcode; once again you can check these on line if you are not releasing the butterfly from your home. You can choose the appropriate tag number, the condition of your butterfly and its origin – whether you reared it or if it is wild. You can also click in the radio (cricle with a dot in it) next to Male or Female. Males have thinner veins than females, and also have a ‘scent pouch’ on each hindwing.

    When you have entered in this data, you can log out… until the next time you tag a butterfly. Some people are keeping a week’s worth of information in a notebook, and then adding it to the database all at once. I find it easier to log the data in at the same time as I tag the butterfly, and have the computer find the right date/time.

    #15978

    bevs
    Participant

    I always tag males on the right and females on the left-hand side. Many either stay around my garden or return after a few days. Even if I am unable to catch them to read their tag numbers, I can tell their sex at a glance.Some tags have come off as I have caught two or three butterflies with a circular spot where the tag had been. Once I found a tag stuck to a seed pod that I had put on a female 8 days earlier. I now hold the tag in place longer than previously to prevent them coming off.

    #15976

    Anonymous

    hi from burness/tagged 1 female AG002 at Boulcott Lower hutt
    leaves are growing back on my trees, pitty i didn’t get the tags earlier
    as most of mine had hatched and gone,will know next year to get them early
    dheer’s Burness

    #15956

    Anonymous

    have tagged
    female AB OO5 and Male OOI, Lower Hutt,13/3007,Burness

    #15955

    Anonymous

    hi from Burness,had a few hiccups tagging ‘but as soon as i read how to do it properly
    it is easy as, i had stuck one on the wrong wing and the poor thing could’t fly so i removed it and it flew off straight away,i held them as you explained in your note to
    Gregtemp, and you cant hurt them as i found out.

    #15923

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello Gregtemp

    Firstly, you need to register for the project. But as you have registered for the forum, you have already started the process. Did you put a tick in the box that says “tagging”? You will need to do that. Did you give us your address and postcode?

    The next step is you will need tags! Email tags@monarch.org.nz. Tell us your registration ID (gregtemp) and how many you require – tags come in sheets of 25. Members who have paid their subscription get them for free, otherwise they cost $2.50 for a sheet of 25. I would suggest getting 25 to start with.

    You will receive an email with a pdf of notes, pictures and explanation how to tag. We allocate the tag numbers to your login in the database, so that the numbers will appear in your profile. As you tag and release butterflies, you will then be able to complete the release details on line.

    When you get the tags, make sure you understand the way in which they’re numbered (down, THEN across in sequence, not across). If you use the numbers in sequence you’ll find it much easier to key details in on line.

    When you’re ready to do your first butterfly, log in to the website: Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click on Login under ‘Meta’. Using the login and password will take you to the dashboard. You will see tabs such as Profile and Research on a bright blue border. Should you want to change your profile – or add further information about yourself – you can do so here.

    Next to the Profile tab is the Research button. Click on this, and you will see the results of research we’ve undertaken so far. Monarch butterfly sightings were started in 2005 to collect information as to their location (as far south as Stewart Island) and sightings of overwintering colonies. In the spring 2006 we started on pest sightings, and from this we learned that the most common pest is the Asian Paper Wasp. We have been able to help Monarch-lovers counter its predation. Underneath are the results of transect samples – these figures will change as more people complete sightings and transects.

    There could be two other tabs – TRANSECT WALK and TAG BUTTERFLY (if you have signed up for both).

    Now to the practical side:

    When a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, it will spend several hours drying its wings. The trick is to tag it when its wings are dry, and before it flies away!

    Do not touch the adhesive side of the tags. To remove the tag roll it onto a toothpick (the individually sealed toothpicks are best – less likely to be dirty). Now put the toothpick with tag down so you can get your butterfly.

    Let the butterfly walk onto your finger by putting your finger right in front of its face. Then using the other hand, grasp the butterfly where the wings overlap, so you have hold of all four wings at once. You can hold it quite firmly without harming the butterfly.

    You will see a large distal cell (mitten-shaped) on the hindwing; this is where the tag is to go, so that it’s legible when the wings are closed. Either hindwing – left of right – is fine. Roll the toothpick out of the way and then hold the tag in place for a few seconds to ensure maximum adhesion.

    The tags weigh approx 0.006g. Adult monarchs weigh, on average, about 0.5g, so the tag is about 1.2% the mass of the butterfly. This would make a Monarch about as lopsided as a child with a jacket that had a sleeve on one arm and not on the other.

    Now you can let your Monarch go – BUT BEFORE YOU DO, make sure you know the tag number and whether it’s male or female.

    Back to the computer:

    The date will default to the current date but can be changed so that you can put in the accurate date. Enter the location of the release – and the postcode; once again you can check these on line if you are not releasing the butterfly from your home.

    Choose the appropriate tag number, the condition of your butterfly and its origin – whether you reared it or if it is wild. You can also click in the radio next to Male or Female. Males have thinner veins than females, and also have a ‘scent pouch’ on each hindwing. Pictures are in the notes I will send you.

    Some people might like to weigh and measure their butterflies. Weight can be recorded on very delicate scales (a Monarch weighs about 0.5g) by placing the butterfly inside a fold of paper for the weighing process – then subtract the weight of the paper.

    Wing measurements should be taken from the point of the forewing attached to the body across to the outer tip of the forewing. Weighing and measuring is optional and not critical for those who don’t want to get involved in that. Pictures are in the notes!

    And that’s all there is to it! Will be delighted to have you on board. If you have any problems, write to tags@monarch.org.nz

    Cheers

    Jacqui

    #15907

    Anonymous

    I have had seventy three hatch this year with only three deformities where can i get a tagging kit from as I now have another thirty or so caterpillars just about ready to spin into cacoons

    #15898

    bevs
    Participant

    This is Bev just checking out the forum.

    #15896

    Anonymous

    Hello from Val

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