Have overwintering monarchs dispersed now?

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    I’m interested to know if anyone who has been monitoring overwintering monarch clusters has noticed if they are still around or has this warm spring weather caused them to disburse? This week I checked on the two sites in my locality I know about (Wairarapa) and I can only see a handful of butterflies fluttering about the trees they were previously roosting in. What have others observed?

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    Barbara Ryan

    The most amazing thing happened on a lovely sunny day last week!
    One of the chrysalis that has been hanging from the frame of our Muritai School butterfly garden for at least 6 weeks or more suddenly hatched into a lovely healthy butterfly. The children had been asking if the chrysalis were dead- there are still 4 hanging- I said only sleeping but wasn’t sure! Unfortunately it flew off before we could tag it. i guess it will find somewhere to winter over! A message that we need to leave nature to take its time and not make assumptions. It was a wonderful learning experience for the children- they talked about it all day and are keeping eagle eyes on the remaining 4 chrysalis!


    Black Robin

    Here in Tauranga, I still have two Js, two chrysalis and seven cats of different sizes, some in shade house and some in sheltered position in the garden. The development seems to be quite slow now, so here’s hoping. Currently erecting a small greenhouse and will be able to transfer some in the next few days, weather permitting



    Have nurtured lots of caterpillars this year in Sth Akld, and still have seven chrysalis pending plus a couple of cats on plants outside!! Will move them when they j to a sheltered place.



    To my surprise I have just had a Monarch lay on the plants here this morning. I still have 3 late chrysalis to hatch. (Napier).



    Here in Motueka we’ve had a couple of frosts this last fortnight, with several other near frosty nights. So to my surprise I am still finding small caterpillars surviving outside on the blood flowers, maybe it’s because these happen to be in a warmish sunny spot.

    I’m bringing them into a castle in my glass house (which is old and not that weather proof), but is apparently still warm enough to keep the caterpillars going until they pupate and hatch out.

    I had a female hatch out earlier this week and put her outside in the sun to warm up and fly off – which she did. I can only presume that she and the others who may hatch out later, will find their way to their local winter dia-pause spot. Which by the way everyone here seems to know of, but nobody knows exactly where it is!



    I saw one monarch flying around at Wembley Park in Whanganui on Saturday afternoon quite happily while i was playing football. I think i spotted one here in Marton a week or so ago too which is rare for this time of year (being so early).

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