winter caterpillars in Auckland

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    Topic
  • #44775

    Walsh71
    Participant

    I have just spotted a few caterpillars on my swan plant in Auckland – on 25 July! One is quite mature, 3-4 smaller ones, and at least one egg. Someone has been busy! Is this early?

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  • #44810

    jules
    Participant

    In the new sheltered location I have swan plants planted, we have had caterpillars all winter so far. They seam to take longer to grow but are getting there. There are about 6 large ones due to chrysalis in the next few days. I always seam to miss them hatching and flying off though. Glad the mantis population are quiet now !

    #44784

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi there

    GordonJM, you’ve probably looked around the forum by now and find out what we suggest: letting them go somewhere where there is maximum shelter (from wind and rain) and maximum sunshine (when it comes out between the showers/clouds). That way the butterflies will acclimatise and adjust to the weather – they will be perfectly all right with a bit of rain, it just runs off them, they’re waterproof.

    #44780

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi there – it’s either early or it’s late. It’s not uncommon for monarchs to lay eggs when we have fine spells in areas like Tauranga, Auckland and further north.

    #44779

    GordonJM
    Participant

    We have just had two Monarchs hatch today out of 12 viable chrysalises we’ve had in a caterpillar castle for the past 3 weeks or so (out of about 15 caterpillars). Others are ready to hatch. We’re not sure what to do with them. Should we release them on a nice fine day (it’s going to be wet in Auckland over the next few days) but feed them in the meantime? Maybe deliver them to the West Lynn butterfly garden? Anyone got any ideas?

    #44776

    Walsh71
    Participant

    ps I also eliminated a praying mantis and spotted a paper wasp last week (they knew the caterpillars had arrived before I did) – sigh

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