LeslieD

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  • in reply to: Thinking out loud: Ophryocystis elektroscirrha #59563

    LeslieD
    Participant

    good thinking and advice!. i’ve got a lot of large old plants and i noticed butterflies not laying on them last year too. They preferred younger plants. My plants typically last a couple of seasons and I’ve always got some on the grow. I use miltons to disinfect my castles regularly and any plant i suspect of having had a sick caterpillar but i think I’ll get out and blast everything this year .. in a couple of months though :0

    in reply to: Forked Proboscis #59508

    LeslieD
    Participant

    It can take a day or so for the proboscis to knit together. And they don’t need to feed for the first couple of days so don’t worry. I had one last year that took a long time to knit and I found some videos on helping the process . It did seem to help. You can google it. I’d just leave it for now and it will probably fix itself.

    in reply to: Announcing launch of our YouTube channel #59453

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I subscribed 🙂

    in reply to: Perfect Female 5 June Wgtn + New Eggs #59414

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve still got eggs but probably a few weeks old now. Until the last week or so its been pretty mild so i wonder if the butterflies are confused and have mated when they should have been hunting out an overwinter site? I’ve had my last butterflies as late as the 10th of June in prior years. All finished now apart from 2 caterpillars in the hot house who have an abundance of food at least. They were from eggs I hatched inside, its the first success i’ve had with eggs. Hopefully your new girl will be sensible and take off for the winter over grounds.

    in reply to: Overwintering monarch inside #59399

    LeslieD
    Participant

    they don’t need to drink for a couple of days after hatching so don’t worry about that. If I have to keep mine due to dire weather I’ll offer them nectar after a couple of days and if they are hungry they will drink it if not I leave it till next day. I make a nectar from the packet stuff for tuis or just honey and water or even sugar and water. I find they also love watermelon or rockmelon if you can find it.

    in reply to: Caterpillars/butterflies in Auckland heading into June #59383

    LeslieD
    Participant

    There are a lot of fails this time of year no matter what you do. Pays to celebrate the successes and try to put the fails behind you.

    in reply to: Monarch hatching May coming into June #59382

    LeslieD
    Participant

    Release it is the best bet. I released the last of mine on Friday. It had been kept in the cold laundry for a couple of days when the weather was really dire. That way it had adapted to the cold and when i put it in the sun it flew off. If its strong enough it will overwinter somewhere and be back on nice days to nectar and be ready to breed in the spring.

    in reply to: Caterpillars/butterflies in Auckland heading into June #59359

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I live in Wellington and have released my last two this week. I had the chrysalids inside but as soon as the wings were dry after eclosing I put them in our cold laundry at night in a caterpillar castle (weather outside was raining and very cold). As soon as there was a sunny patch I put them outside and both flew off when they warmed up. Keeping them in the cold helps them condition to the cold and gives then a better chance of survival. If the position it is in is relatively sheltered from the southerly we are about to get its probably ok to stay where it is. Hopefully it gets the sun when there is some? It does help if they are put in the sun if you want them to fly. sometimes I have them for several days before weather is ok and then I try to give them some nectar before putting them in sun. If they need it they will drink it.

    in reply to: Monarch emerged May 2020 #59339

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I had my last one emerge yesterday, a big healthy male. Weather is bitter here today and dire for the next few days so he will be in a butterfly castle in the laundry till later in the week.

    in reply to: Only eat one milkweed? #59322

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve got a couple of tropical milkweeds (red flowers ) which i treasure as it took me years to grow some. Anyway the biggest and best was in my hothouse and was sporting a seed pod … It got raided by caterpillars from my other plants and the little sods scoffed the seed pod 🙁 along with a lot of the plant).
    I guess that plant had what it took to attract caterpillars. It had its own caterpillars as well.

    in reply to: Sick caterpillar? #59313

    LeslieD
    Participant

    Just leave it as is, sounds fine. Sometimes they go very dark just before moulting. There is some variation to size and coloring.

    in reply to: Female Laying Today – Wellington #59289

    LeslieD
    Participant

    Hi Caryl .. i’ve had a female laying eggs here in karori too. I assumed she was confused by the great autumn we have had and mated ..

    in reply to: First time w/ butterflies and one with deformity? #59288

    LeslieD
    Participant

    What I would try and maybe someone has a better idea … might help if someone gently restrained it holding both wings together between thump and forefinger (assuming the wings are dry and set of course). Or maybe just gently hold the body in front of the wings. If you have a mister you could mist the stuck piece of chrysalis with warm water and very gently work at it with your fingernail .. it might break away in several pieces.

    If you don’t have a mister just wet it best you can.

    Be careful of the wings if they are still soft as they tear easily … good luck.

    in reply to: First time w/ butterflies and one with deformity? #59282

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’m guessing part of the chrysalis has broken away and its fallen with it stuck to its head.
    If you find them in time you can dampen the piece of chysalis and gently peel it away from the butterfly. Unfortunately if it has not been able to inflate its wings in a fairly short time it probably won’t be able to.
    Sometimes problems with the chrysalis are due to being too dry. If they are inside as many are this time of year it helps to mist them a couple of times a day with water as the indoor heating can dry them out.

    in reply to: Male Monarch deformed wing #59234

    LeslieD
    Participant

    there is another topic about ironing a crumpled wing … worth having a look. I was a bit skeptical but have tried it and it worked.Unfortunately the butterfly was already exhausted and it died, pity i never got him sooner.

    If you could straighten the wing and then trim so they are both much the same it could have a chance.

    in reply to: Monarch wandering for days #59197

    LeslieD
    Participant

    if he is a large caterpillar and looking for a place to pupate then no point putting him back on your outdoor plant. If you can bring him inside on a plant or cuttings from a plant her will have a better chance. He is probably looking for a sheltered dry and probably warm place to pupate.
    I have caterpillar castles which are net enclosures that are ideal for such a job. All my surviving caterpillars are in one inside by a window with the best light.

    in reply to: Should I bring the last ones inside? #59140

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve got my last ones in the hothouse except for the ones that are about to pupate which i have inside in a butterfly castle (they were doing dumb things in the hothouse like trying to hang themselves on the roof surface which is prone to condensation). Every now and then I find a caterpillar outside and I move them in. They won’t survive outside now in Wellington, not sure how they go elsewhere.

    in reply to: Swan plants needed #59090

    LeslieD
    Participant

    If you can’t get anything I could take some caterpillars for you. But I’m in Karori, so not sure if you are allowed to travel across town?

    Garden centres will be open tomorrow I believe so maybe they will have some plants.

    in reply to: Big Butterfly Not Flying #59050

    LeslieD
    Participant

    does not sound too hopeful really. But you could try giving it a feed of nectar/ honey and water. Its that time of year when the fails are more common even when the butterfly looks perfect. I’ve noticed an increase in butterflies that look fine but lack vigour. Those ones usually die and if they do eventually fly off i’ve no confidence they will survive the winter.
    Its just how it is. but I’ve had three lovely ones the last few days and that helps make up for it 🙂

    in reply to: More Males than females #59030

    LeslieD
    Participant

    My last few have been males, but then prior to that i had a run of females.

    As far as eggs go I just noticed my plants are loaded with eggs … these are plants that have mostly been empty over our shitty Welly spring and summer. I put the eggs down to our glorious autumn with sunny warm days and reduced winds … the eggs have no show sadly, one big southerly and it will be winter.

    I have a little gang of caterpillars in the hothouse all doing well on masses of food.

    in reply to: Fallen ‘J’ #58945

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve sometimes had success by putting them on a soft surface. i’ve used my net cake covers that are opened out and upside down. I put the J on the bit off the ground so they don’t have a hard surface. Even so the chrysalis will have a flattish bit.
    Hopefully someone can suggest a way to rehang them safely. I’d search through this forum for suggestions, there may have been one a while back involving cotton buds or the like.

    good luck!

    in reply to: Too much pumpkin? #58931

    LeslieD
    Participant

    You can usually get away feeding pumpkin if its the very late stage just before pupation (very large caterpillars a couple of days away from pupation). Its no good for smaller caterpillars at all. Even so its not the ideal but sometimes we are driven to it and pumpkin has saved the day for me more than once 🙂 my observation is quite often the caterpillar appears to be driven to an earlier pupation than maybe it would otherwise once given pumpkin.
    So providing the caterpillars were otherwise close to pupation ‘maybe’ the pumpkin has contributed to the fail. But equally its the time of year when fails are higher due to disease or cooler and shorter days producing less vigorous cats. I’m going through a phase of getting weak butterflies.

    in reply to: Help I need some swan plants #58888

    LeslieD
    Participant

    on facebook there is a ‘Monarch Matchmaker’ page. Be worth looking there 🙂

    in reply to: Alternative food for caterpillars during lockdown? #58833

    LeslieD
    Participant

    pumpkin and other alternatives no good for anything except the very large stage 4 pre pupation caterpillars. The little ones might eat it but they will not get what they need to survive to be a butterfly.
    do you have a neighbour or someone in neighbourly with plants who can pick them up e.g. from your letterbox or you could deliver in a similar manner?
    i picked up a butterfly with a wrinkly wing yesterday from a neighbor. It was in a jar in the letterbox and was careful to a keep keep my hands away from my face until I could sanitise them to prevent any bugs on the jar.

    If you were in Karori Welly I could take them for you.

    in reply to: Is Black Nightshade useful for anything? #58831

    LeslieD
    Participant

    lol maybe in the current situation it might start looking attractive as food plant for your table 🙂

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 373 total)