Admiral pillars/green pillars

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  • #13191

    haluca1
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    Hi everyone, I’m after a bit of non-specific advice about admiral pillars. I gave in(read: could never find the time to do my weeding!) a couple of months ago and let two patches of nettles grow, one next to my swan plants, and another lot behind my roses (quite a pain to reach). Anyway, a week ago I pulled out the ones by the swan plants, checking each plant as I went, no pillars :( This afternoon I started on the other patch, and am pleased to be finding quite a few black pillars of various sizes, along with one or two of what I think must be chyrsalis’. I have also come across a couple of green pillars, what are they? Will the chyraslis be OK outside at this time of year? TIA :)

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  • #18239

    haluca1
    Participant

    Thanks for the info everyone, very helpful. If I can find my battery charger, I’ll take a few photos of what I have tomorrow. The nettles are amounst my roses so not ideally where I’d like them, but if thats where they want to grow who am I to stop them. I had a closer look at the surrounding area today and can see two chrysalis, plus two empty cases, and one J-shape pillar (a lighter coloured one) and a number of other pillars. I just hope its not too cold for them. My very last monarch pillar (by quite a bit) has just turned green today, so he’s inside, I’ve never had monarchs so late before!

    #18237

    Hi
    There are many moths that their lavae also feed on nettles.
    For those that are wanting nettle patches kept, how about planting a native nettle species. South island has 5 to chose from and north has 4.
    Two introduced nettles that I know of U.Urens and U.Dioca (Dioca is listed as pest species in many areas where U.Urens is not)
    U.Dioca is an amazing herb, great for eating! makes the best pesto and tea made with the leaves is said to help many health complaints. Angie

    #18234

    VickySteele
    Participant

    I get so annoyed when I go to some of my usual good nettle spots and find the council has sprayed. One day I will get my point across with these people! I spoke to a lady a while ago who had been to the UK and over there farmers are paid to leave certain parts of their land untouched for the wildlife. And there is also some law about mowing a certain distance from the road (again to protect wildlife). Wish that was the case here!

    My sister lives in the country, and her neighbour has the most amazing crop of nettles by her back door. They’re all earmarked for me too, luckily! They get not much sun, and heaps of frost, and they’re thriving. And each time I dig up a pile of them I find more caterpillars on them, some of them very tiny. I guess the way they silk themselves inside leaves helps protect them from the elements.

    The Magpie Moth is lovely – not very big. Keep your eye out for it! I get a lot nectaring on my buddleia, salvia and wallflowers.

    #18232

    Swansong
    Participant

    Well I can forget the nettles (just the ordinary stinging nettle) as it indeed looks like its been sprayed. Is the ordinary nettle frost tender?

    I did a search and saw the Magpie moth and pillar. Certainly the pillar was recognizable but I cant remember seeing the moth.

    #18230

    VickySteele
    Participant

    Magpie moths are very very cute. I have some that are eating groundsel. I go and dig it up when I go out to get nettles. My Yellow Admiral caterpillars are vastly different colours too. I asked Norm about it once and he said:

    “Colour differences in both Red and Yellow admiral larvae is quite normal. Often black on top with green or grey undersides through to completely greyish, buff or green. George Gibbs in his book ‘ New Zealand Butterflies ‘ remarks on it, but gives no explanations for it and I have not come across the answer in any other reference material.”

    #18229

    Gilly
    Participant

    Swansong – the black hairy caterpillars that decimate the cinerarias are Magpie Moth…. they are very cute 🙂

    #18228

    Swansong
    Participant

    “they are cute I move up to them and put my finger out and they hop onto it and I take them over to a dish of nectar and they eat from it. A couple of times I have put my arm out and they have landed on it for feeding”

    Oooo margie you make it sound soooOOooo tempting : )

    Been meaning to ask, what are those really black hairy pillars that decimate cinerarias (spelling ??? )…I know NOTHING at all about the admiral pillars and wondered if these were admirals or what. I was really tempted to pull up some nettles along the roadside near where I am, until I saw the council or whoever they are, spraying. Since they are not viewable from my property, I cant be sure, and also these were near a neighbours yards. I’m keeping my eye out though and see what croaks around that area and see if theyre a goer afterall.

    Swansong.

    #18227

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Haluca – see the photograph of caterpillars in the photographs section, sounds like these might be the ones you have found.

    Jacqui

    #18226

    margie
    Participant

    Hi haluca1,
    I am new to the admirals as I have only been growing nettles this season but from what I have had the grey and brown pillars are also admiral pillars they are hairy like the black ones. The chrysalis are brown and fawn. Angie or Norm will be able to fill you in with more info. I have quite a few chrysalis and a few pillars and I have had 4 yellows hatch so far they are cute I move up to them and put my finger out and they hop onto it and I take them over to a dish of nectar and they eat from it. A couple of times I have put my arm out and they have landed on it for feeding I love the little critters.I still ahve them inside where it is warm have been here for over a week.
    Cheers Margie

    #18224

    haluca1
    Participant

    One more thing, I’ve noticed about half the caterpillars dont seem to be admiral ones. They’re not black, more of a grey and brown striped – what are they?

    #18223

    haluca1
    Participant

    Never mind about the green ones, I’ve just read an old thread about them and they seem to be silver Y moth pillars? NOT good news to me (if anyone remembers my thread a while ago about a peacock moth in my kitchen, I have a phobia of moths).

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