Butterfly happenings

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  • #51670

    susan
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    We’re now entering a quieter time in the garden after a deluge of Monarch caterpillars. They have eaten every leaf to be had (and we were lucky to have good numbers of mature plants that had survived the winter wet), with the last ones eating the seed pods now. The butterflies are resorting to laying eggs on the seed pods. I have been giving the plants a good drenching and already there are new hopeful leaves appearing. It has been a slow start to the wasp season, but now there is a growing presence of danglies (paper wasps), so any new caterpillars will probably be fair game. With a bit of plant recovery I should be able to caterpillar castle some in the New Year, so that there are some successes.

    On the Yellow Admiral front I have been surprised by the number of releases from the castle – 11 yesterday, bringing the total to just over 100. Started with a dozen, but every day I collected new food from the nettle patch I collected more caterpillars! The patch is looking a bit ragged. Initially I noticed a number of quite beautiful golden chrysalises and thought these had been parasitised, but not so. Now a number a coppery brown ones which do look suspicious. Does anyone know how long the parasitising wasp takes to complete its life cycle? Another thing I notice is that I may only see one Admiral in the garden on any day, even with a good number of nectarine plants. Where do they all go!

    Wishing everyone a great Christmas and New Year’s in your butterfly endeavours:)

    Susan (Hibiscus Coast)

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  • #51680

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great to hear Susan! Merry Christmas.

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