yellow admiral


This topic contains 32 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Angie Gibbons – Wings1 11 years, 6 months ago.

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    have a patch of stinging nettle that has produced many catipillars,but where do they go?haven’t found any crysalises in the immediate vicinity.Do the white eyes eat them or is there some other predator in the garden?????can anyone give me an answer?

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    Hi Norm, have just tagged (polish) 6 butterflies, was great to see them take off and one stayed in the garden sittin on parsley for quite some time. Rest flew straight up to a five finger on the neighbours property.

    Had kept them for a couple of days in the glass house and there seemed to be lots of chasing yesturday so hoping babies where made. Have removed all my nettle from the glass house so was unable to record egg laying as at the moment its about to undergo some serious renovations. Upgrading my flimsy plastic sheet sides to UV corrigated plastic sheets like skylight plastic, very flash!


    I got a nice bright pinky red, that I will be using to mark the butterflies, so if anyone sees one please let me know!



    Go On Angie!!! I have seen your finger nails befofre… all those amazing colours you wear, chopping and changing every day. LOL.



    Great thanks norm, will get some varnish tomorrow.



    Butterfly Farmers in the U.S. mark their butterflies wings with nail varnish to keep track of the mated females. Nail varnish is evidently one of the few products that will adhere to the scales on a butterflies wing. I would think on an Admiral this would be far less stressful for the butterfly, as a dab could be placed on the underside of the forewing, and a bright colour would show up quite well. The Yellow admirals do return if there is plenty of nectar available. Several years back I marked some of the Yellows I released with a very small ‘V’ cut in the edge of the hindwing, and observed them 2 weeks later feeding on my Buddleia bush.


    Just released my 2 yellows tonight, that makes 22 alive and well in the panmure, Auckland area!

    I also have given cats to people in Grey lynn and Ellerslie so hopping to create some self sustaining colonies!

    I am getting eggs every few days and see a yellow now at least every 3-4 days, its amazing how quick the population builds up.
    Is there a way we can tag them?


    Walkabout Yellows, Reg I found a little guy had walked off the kitchen table, down the hall to my bedroom and was walking up the poster of the bed!!! So would say that was about 8 meters. Angie


    Thanks all, the chrysilis in question hatched this morning and was released. Have a bit of repair work on my butterfly house, I hotglue gunned the plastic and netting to the steel frame, and it got so hot has melted and pulled away. have cats all inside untill it is fixed.



    Hi Wings

    Re the wriggling Pupae, Over here in the UK when I was younger ( many years ago) I used to breed Peacock Butterflies and they would Pupate en-masse at the top of the cage, up to 300 at a time. If you touched one of them and it wriggled the whole lot would start wriggling and they could make quite a lot of noise. This behaviour would also alert me to the possible infiltration of a parasitic Wasp through the cage netting and I would then check to find the wasp and dispatch it.
    As an aside, Peacocks Butterflies hibernate as Imagines and if you disturb them they all rub their wings together to make a hissing noise a bit like a snake, obviously another survival strategy.


    Thanks so much, I now think I have two girls and a new boy who has just hatched, but not sure where from!

    I will let the girls go as soon as have observed them laying eggs. Angie



    Hi wings1 & all.
    Some species of Butterfly show sexual dimorphism ( difference in wing colouring/markings or size ) while others do not. Our white butterfly and the Monarch show difference while many including the Yellow and Red admirals do not, they are identical. Therefore the entomologists examine the genitalia under high magnification to sex them. However a simple way is to observe the body size – long and slender for a male, or short and plump ( egg mass ) for the female. You will notice the difference with a comparison of the two. After a little practice this becomes quite accurate. Sorry to hear about your loss with the mantis, there are lots of little beasties who have it ‘ ln for ‘ our butterflies.
    The violent swinging of the pupae you witnessed is quite typical of the Admirals. It is a defence mechanism to try and dislodge any parasitic wasp or other nasty that may climb on it, and even a touch will often set them off. However some do not, but emerge quite normally. Perhaps they are the lazy ones !!!


    Lost one of my new hatchings to a praying mantis, caught it yellow handed! retrieved the body and wings but it had taken its head, nasty wee things! Let the oldest go as she had laid many eggs so have two butterflies left now in the house.


    How do we sex admiral butterflies?


    Great Norm, found this morning the little girl was feeding on the flower of the giant milk weed so that should keep her full for a while. Have added some marigolds and Scabiosa but its not flowering yet. Will grwo others from seed.

    I was just out there and noticed on of my chrysalis swinging violently from side to side, is this good or bad? went on for about 3-4 mins?



    Without a doubt the most prefered flower for both Red & Yellow admirals is Buddleia.
    Then comes lantana, koromiko, hebe and most of the nectar flowers suited to Monarchs as well. Even the Bloodflower ( Asclepias curassavica ) flower is enjoyed, and if like me you have reserve stocks of it in your B/house, kill two birds with one stone. I use potted Scabiosa in my butterfly house as it flowers from about September through till May / June, and the Reds & Yellows love it. Also is the artificial nectar in an emergency, a recipe of which Jacqui mentions in a recent Google groups forum.


    have my first Yellow butterfly hatchlings, and have one thats laying eggs! The yellow seem to cope better in the butterfly house than monarchs. they seem to just fly about where the monarchs are always flying into the plastic. Anyone know what their fav flowers are?


    Yay have a chysilis, can you tell at this stage if its yellow or red?


    Hi guys
    The little admirals are getting to a good size and have so many colour changes its hard to know if they are only just two species. This morning I found one with a green head and reddish upper body… I think it may have just shed its skin, but am crossing my fingers he will end up red!. There lower body is also green and now makes it hard to find them on the plants.

    They are also starting to go walkies finding them a few feet from their pots just resting like the monarchs do.

    Anyone got more tips or info on the admirals?


    Reg what nettle do you have?


    Hi Norm, thanks for the info.

    Also found ants to be a problem, they are swarming the catapillers. Argintine ants, the little red ones.

    Jacqui there are a few stray plants, but not alot to sustain a population. Some of the plants are an inch high with 4-5 eggs onthem, have taken some of the eggs as they would not have survived anyway.

    We need areas that nettle can be planted!



    Hi Angie,
    The Admirals mate fairly soon after emerging. It may take another day or two before they start ovipositing ( I love that word )They start off by chasing, and towards late afternoon they will mate, staying connected for some time. But they don’t always start laying straight away, it may take a couple of days. Just ensure there are plenty of nectar flowers in your butterfly house and you shouldn’t have any problem.
    Keep an eye out for the praying mantis, when small they can easily hitch a ride in on a potted plant, and then start having a feast both on larvae and the adult butterfly’ A good idea to eliminate any spiders webs too, a few losses can occur there as well.
    Hope all goes well.



    Hi Ange — I have had a report today that the habitat in Auckland city that I referred you to has been sprayed – no more stinging nettle! Very sad.

    I will go and see the custodian of the property when I’m in Auckland early in February.



    I think its from U.Urens and some are feeding on U.incsa and 1 has moved the the U.ferox.

    I have 3 that are very large and they now eat day and night as you said, great to actually see them rather than rapped up in their little tents.

    Once hatched how long before the butterflies become sexually active? I am trying to work out how long i will need to keep them before release to ensure more eggs are laid so I dont have to harvist from the wild




    Hi Angie’
    Both admirals take 8 – 10 days to hatch, depending on temperature.
    Differences between the two larvae types is only possible at the 4th and 5th instar stage, and needs high magnification to detect differences in the setae, the spiny tufts along their back. If you sourced the larvae from U.ferox they are bound to be Red admiral larvae. If from U.urens they could be either. Both Red and Yellow admiral larvae have voracious appetites, and usually demolish everything in sight. They will mix well together, so that aspect is no worry.


    Does anyone know how to tell the dif between a red and yellow admiral larvae? I collecet some from the wild and have not idea what they are. All the pics i can find are not clear as to which is which.

    Norm how long to the eggs take to hatch?

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