Alternative food for caterpillars during lockdown?

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  • #58832


    With the current lockdown period I am rather worryingly running out of swan plants for my 15+ small caterpillars who are rapidly devouring 3 Swan plants unfortunately and it didn’t cross my mind to buy more Swan plants before this lockdown unfortunately. Think they should release extra Swan plants on sale as an Essential Service for the Monarch population lol! This is my first time being a ‘Monarch guardian’ so I don’t know what else to feed them or what’s the best action to take in this situation? Someone said I could try butternut pumpkin, zucchini and cucumber? I recently had 3 beautiful Monarchs emerge from their chrysalisis and fly off into the sun rays which was a delight. Any advice much appreciated please folks, Thank you 🦋

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  • #60228


    LeslieD, you have given a really great suggestion.



    Hi Jacqui and Leslie, Thank you very much for your replies. I am living in Christchurch near the City centre. I didn’t know about the Facebook Page ‘Monarch Matchmaker’ so I will try that and also Neighbourly, bearing in mind the current rules around self isolation. Thank you very much for your advice 🙂🦋



    Whereabouts are you, Debosmile? Have you tried posting on the FB page, Monarch Matchmaker? There may well be someone in your immediate neighbourhood who has plants and would let you leave them there. Or, they may be growing in a school or wild area.

    But without knowing your general location, it’s hard to advise. We don’t need to know EXACTLY where you live, just your neighbourhood.



    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.

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