Very late in season for butterflies

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  • #56893


    We had a terrible spring with very few caterpillars getting to chrysalis stage & becoming butterflies (wasps we think) but we were delighted to get a huge crop of caterpillars end of March beginning of April.
    The weather now in South Auckland (Otara) is starting to get cooler and we still have all our chrysatis’s waiting to hatch. Do they survive this late in the season and complete their transformation? We still have a few caterpillars on the plants.

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  • #57122


    Hello all, I have just released another 2 Female Butterflies., and still have 10 more Chrysalis’s and 14 Caterpillars in the castles in our big shed, which faces the west, so they get all the afternoon sun and some of the morning Northerly sun. Most of the Chrysalis have been hanging for at least 4 Weeks. Some could be a bit longer. Like others, I wonder how much longer they can go to complete their cycle.
    The temperatures have dropped, but we are still getting a lot of fine sunny days . We have not had much rain here in Gisborne.
    The Chrysalis’s are given a spray of water every 2nd day, so the do not get dry and hard.
    This year has certainly been very different . At this time other years, we would be finished tagging etc. ( To date, I have released 220 Butterflies this year.



    Hi , can I overwinter my butterflies indoors in a cool spot, or will they die?…thanks, Denise.



    Just released another two butterflies, one today and one yesterday. They were in Chrysalis mode for almost 4 weeks, but emerged complete and healthy. They hatched in our chrysalis hotel (cardbox box in the hall) The sun is shining in Auckland, and I put them outside on the swanplant.
    Also there are still some instar 3 caterpillars about on our outside plants. Will let nature take it’s cause.



    We are way down in Central Hawkes Bay and have just found two live butterflies in our garden. One yesterday and the other this morning. First one was laying on the ground and we thought it was dead. Yesterday was a bone chilling southerly with showers. We brought the first one inside. We’re unsure as to our next steps. Will they be able to fly off. Days are very short now.



    im in Whitianga and i have a few eggs on the plants, i have 3 medium sized caterpillars and 4 baby ones. I also have 4 chrysalis. Its my first year so im not sure if this is usual



    Had one male eclose yesterday and a female this morning. Outside in a sheltered enclosure waiting for a bit of sun and a lot less wind for their maiden flight. Another chrysalid of ‘that batch’ to go. I rescued 2 caterpillars when doing a gardening job on Friday. The garden has seedling swan plants and are whats left of the efforts of an old friend who did butterflys .. he passed away early this year. anyway I didn’t think they stood much of a chance but the bigger one has pupated at least and the smaller one has started eating … both inside in the warm getting shifted round the lightest windows.



    Just been checking plants around my area in West Auckland. Found 2 cats and 4 eggs. I’m very surprised.



    I’m getting some weak ones too Miranda, I had a perfect looking female die yesterday .. she looked perfect but not very good at hanging on to things. she lasted a couple of days and never flew away when the opportunity was there. But today at least I have a big strong feisty female. I just need the wind to drop to safely release her.



    I’m in Papakura and have been moving my chrysalises into a little outdoor greenhouse (the type you get from The Warehouse) in a sheltered spot. A few winters ago I put all my chrysalises into an outdoor storage cupboard as the weather started to get cold. Sometimes I would open it up on sunny days but for the most part it stayed closed to protect them against wind and rain/hail. Towards the end of winter they started turning black and the orange wings started to show through so I started checking them more regularly. Eventually the vast majority did eclose, although they generally seemed weaker to begin with than they do at the peak of summer. A sunny spot and a feed of some home-made “nectar” seemed to perk them up though. I am finding chrysalises in all kinds of exposed spots where they are likely to get damaged in a storm or if it hails so at least if I have moved them to sheltered spot then they have a better chance than they would in the garden.



    I’m in Wellington. I’ve got chrysalids inside in a well lit warm place … not direct light though. I mist them a couple of times a day. They have been emerging just fine. Only five left to go.
    I’ve got four caterpillars left and they are inside too in a caterpillar castle . I move them round so they get the best light. Adequate light is very important as well as warmth. Without good light they tend to go into a sleeping state and often starve to death or don’t have the oomph required to go from a J into a pupa, or even shed their skins between instars. So far my light therapy seems to be working well :), they were just dying in the hothouse because of reduced light hours. good luck!

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