HELP! It's stormy out and I have a butterfly just emerged…

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  • #32201


    I had a butterfly emerge this morning, and it has been flexing its’ wings most of afternoon. Have just noticed now it’s doing little crash flights, and it’s wings are twitching every now and then, is this normal?? Or is it just not strong enough for full flight. Also, it’s is raining and windy out, should I release tonight or wait till tomorrow? THANKS!!!

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  • #32220


    I  do what Jacqui does when the weather is nasty, although at times I have kept them inside in a caterpillar castle that I bought from the MonarchButterfly trust, with a vase of flowers (Buddleia is a favourite) and they seem happy in there till the sun comes out, and they are released outside.




    Hi BlueSkyBee, yes I too was pleased to read that about the weather (and considering I am an animal biologist I should have thought of it myself really…!). This forum is great – as I haven’t raised monarchs before its awesome to have pros to check things with, as I do get quite attached to my little mates, and like to see them all off safely 🙂



    Emmakate, I had 6 chrysalises ready to hatch today, and was a tad worried as the weather has been nasty for the past few days (they are all outside, but sheltered) and this afternoon when the weather cleared, I have had 6 lovely monarchs hatch and 4 have gone, it seems two want to stay overnight.

    After reading Jacquis post about them sensing weather, I was less worried about them 🙂



    Thanks Jacqui, we had success, she flew away happily this morning 🙂 I kept her inside in the end overnight as it was just too windy and wet, had trees blown down it’s been that stormy… Plus every time I tried to leave her on a branch in the bush she’d fly straight back to land on me! So all is well, another healthy female flying around somewhere! 😀



    Hello Emma Kate

    If this butterfly was in the wild, it would be experiencing the wind and rain first-hand. It would not be flexing its wings but staying still, with wings closed, so that the rain just ran off it. When we bring butterflies “indoors” we are giving them the message that it’s midsummer (or almost) as we humans like to be dry and relatively warm. It will stay like that until the weather improves and it can search for nectar flowers.

    So at present your butterfly senses that it’s midsummer and that it should be flying.

    The best thing you can do for the butterfly is to release it out of doors but somewhere where it is sheltered and it gets the true sense of what the weather is like. An open garage perhaps, or under a tree or the porch or eaves. I have in the past used cartons placed where the open side is leeward so that the butterfly has some shelter but can sense the true weather.

    Hope that helps.

    PS You might be interested in doing the Create Butterfly Habitat course which starts on 1 March. It’s going to be a good one! Lots of learning and what’s more it’s FUN.

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