Eureka…found new seasons Admiral caterpillars!

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  • #14965

    Anna
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    8/9/11.

    I am really pleased to have found some tiny little Admiral caterpillars on some of the nettle around here (the annual, and the perennial one). There are different sizes, so they may be from different butterflies.

    I decided to have a really close look at the nettles, and found them tucked under the little tents that they make out of leaves, and also on the very tips of the nettle Urtica dioica.

    I’ve bought them inside to look after, and keep away from any lurking parasites, but I’m thrilled to have them so early.

    It is several weeks now that I released the last of my Admirals, as I was going away on holiday.

    We are still getting light frosts here.

    I would love to hear if anyone else has found any on their nettles yet.

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  • #28268

    Anna
    Participant

    Elizabeth, thats great! Lets hope its a good season for the Admirals. I have about 40 caterpillars safely inside now. The fun bit will be to see if they are Red or Yellow Admirals:)

    #28263

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Anna – there have been tiny admiral caterpillars on our nettle patch throughout the winter – the over-winterers which grow very slowly until the approach of Spring and warmer weather. I had promised a few to the local health shop owners who have been establishing their own nettle patch from roots I gave them a while back. By the time I got around to doing that, most had disappeared into the depths of the patch – now rather weedy with invading buttercup, trefoil and kikuyu and difficult to search through. However I did find three which had become quite large, and since handing them over, they have all pupated – indoors – and I await news of their emergence.

    I now need to get back to the nettles and clean out some of the weedy invaders so I can see where the rest of the caterpillars got to, and whether there are new tiny ones again, as it seems to be getting near the time to bring them indoors again – there are paper wasps around, and also one or two green bugs which always survive our northern winters (Whangarei area), unfortunately.

    Haven’t seen any admiral butterflies as yet, but the odd monarch floating by, and a cabbage white too. But it won’t be long I feel……..
    …..have just dashed out to the patch and had a very quick search, discovering one very small admiral caterpillar – so hopefully there should be more. When I’ve finished this painting I’m working on I’ll then be free to investigate further and do what’s necessary in rescuing and weeding. Seems hardly any time since last Summer’s caterpillar influx! (Well, I suppose it’s not long since the last admiral was released in July!)

    #28261

    Anna
    Participant

    Great news Jane. A neighbour 6kms away phoned me to say that at midday they found a Red Admiral in their garden nectaring on blossum there. (They have never seen them visit their garden before…apart from the ones I released last summer in their garden…now we wonder if its one of mine thats overwintered)

    #28260

    Jane
    Participant

    Little tents on a couple of the nettles here. B. auriculata still flowering : )

    #28255

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Yes lets hope Anna;-)
    We don’t have any other Buddleias flowering at present.
    Still have the Heliotrope (Cherry pie) still flowering and the cape daisy, arctotis daisy, Lemonitis still flowering and wallfowers.
    But the Monarchs still prefer the B. savifolia out of all of them.

    #28253

    Anna
    Participant

    Charlotte, lets hope it was a female wanting to suss out a good place to lay her eggs!
    Apart from Buddleia salvifloia, which others are flowering in your garden at the moment? I have my young plant Buddleia salvifolia and the silver anniversary one in flower.

    #28252

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Great to hear Anna.
    We had a Yellow Admiral in the garden today feeding on the wallflowers and Buddelia.
    So here is hoping they come back to lay soon.

    #28250

    Anna
    Participant

    Good on you David. Sing out if you would like a few admiral eggs/ caterpillars if you don’t find any in the next few months. I haven’t many at the moment, but should have later on. Last season I had tons to share.

    #28249

    David Bryden
    Participant

    Good to hear that! Just starting on nettles this year. Have several Urtica australis, U. ferox, U. incisa, U. urens and U. diocia in pots so fingers crossed!!!

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