Lack of butterflies this year

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  • #53913


    I too am disappointed at having NO Butterflies or eggs. Up until roughly a month ago, there was 3 or 4 Monarchs flying about our garden and landing on swan plants, …but NO eggs were laid. Last week I purchased 6 beautiful , healthy Swan plants from The Plant Place in Hamilton, but I am still waiting for the Butterflies to come. Normally by this time, I would have released at least 80 Monarchs.!! I had a couple of Chrysalis and about 9 caterpillars up to early July, but none of them completed their cycle.

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  • #53936


    Here in Christchurch I have had over 200 caterpillars, these were eggs left by the overwintering butterflies. I haven’t seen any butterflies for a good couple of weeks now and the chrysalids are taking a while due to the cooler weather. Maybe the seasons are starting later due to climate change lol



    my survivors have been raised in the hothouse … I’d leave a plant out .. get it egged and take inside. Even then I was losing some little ones from predators going into hothouse. I’ve just noticed a couple of little ones on big outside plants but for the most part the eggs have not hatched on those (weather) . But they are now getting a good amount of eggs .. then we have another week of rain in the forecast. Still come February I’ll probably be in a panic with too many critters and diminishing feed.



    No butterflies here in Glen Eden Auckland. We had a few earlier and I’ve had 10 cats which I fattened up indide. I notice a community garden in Henderson with lots of swan plants (opp 96 Millbrook Rd) had lots of cats surviving. So at least the odd spot has attracted some. Also a few in the local community house garden.
    My parents nr Coromandel town also hand-rear them and say none around after first few (nor any bumblebees there).



    Hi Leslie, I have heaps of cats, some will go into chrysalis shortly. My first 3 chrysalides were damaged (probably by the wind and rain). Removed 2 leaves with J’s to bring inside and pegged them only to have one cat fall. It’s so disappointing when they make it to the J stage or chrysalis and then they are damaged. I’m checking every day for J’s since if they try and make their chrysalis in the rain and high wind they won’t make it Some are under eaves and shoud be safe. Warm regards, Caryl



    I still have a battered winter female visiting … good chance she is mum of all of my eggs do far. no new ones sighted yet and I have two chrysalids a week or more away (probly related) and 2 mid sized cats + a growing number of tinies emerging. Slow but accelerating.



    I have observed similar patterns in the Tauranga area. There have been very few butterflies over the past 6 – 7 weeks and consequently very few eggs. There were good numbers of butterflies through most of September when the days were sunny and warm but now, if there is a perfect day, I may see only the odd one (usually by now we are into peak breeding). Even up at Te Puna Quarry there have been very few. Another thing that has happened is the chrysalises are taking an exceptionally long time to hatch. Today I had my first 3 hatch out in my butterfly house so I hope the 80 odd others I have follow suit quickly so that there will be some breeding stock. Heaps of swan plant just waiting to be devoured. Another factor has been an early start for paper wasps and while they are collecting building material they are also scouring the swan plants. I have dispatched many when I am around but suspect they are cleaning up eggs and small cats that don’t have the numbers to endure the onslaught except the odd one. It would be good to find out if there are areas around the country that are producing good numbers at the moment.



    You’re not the only one, Gay. I must confess that I wouldn’t have any/many at all except that I needed to have them for the NZ Flower and Garden Show (in two weeks) and so wrote to a few people who were saying that they had too many eggs – and got eggs sent to me.

    The 3-4 monarchs you saw would have been males waiting for ladies to come by. It’s been a very strange spring, indeed. I think you should be seeing some butterflies in the next few weeks, though, as that first generation are just emerging. There are bound to be some discover your corner of paradise.

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