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    The mild weather, at least up until yesterday, is apparently confusing the monarchs. At the Te Puna Quarry gardens on Saturday two fresh looking female monarchs were observed depositing eggs on the milkweed plants, while two others were involved in a chasing ritual. And shortly after 1 pm I arrived home to find another female depositing eggs also, so they are definitely not in diapause as supposed to be. But the cold front moving up the country will probably sort them out, although the females laying now may well continue to do so on fine days. Unfortunately the eggs and young larvae will not survive the winter.

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  • #48237


    Hi S&Kids

    I am up in Northland at present, and hard to gethold of. Very frustrating when my phone went flat yesterday THEN out of area for phone and I forgot to get my hosts Wifi password. 🙂 Probably good thing as I found it a good opportunity to rest.

    When we bring caterpillars, pupae or butterflies indoors they will sense that it’s more like summer weather. It’s warm and bright in my house most of the time, even when it’s cold, windy and raining outdoors. Now when they come out and we have them indoors the trick is to let them know the weather is NOT good outdoors. Cold and dark and showers they can handle for days or longer – but wind and heavy rain are not good for butterflies.

    Also, when they’re recently emerged from the chrysalis they don’t need feeding for 24 maybe 48 hours. They will know when the time is right. So while some people try and feed the butterflies I prefer to do it the “natural” way, by telling them it’s not conducive to flying around. Put them somewhere COOL and DARK and they will wait, patiently for the weather to come right. I have kept them like that for up to a week, but there is bound to be a good time earlier than that.

    So as soon as you feel the weather has improved put your butterfly outdoors somewhere where it is out of the wind and able to get any sunlight that does shine through the clouds. Best to put it somewhere high-ish, 2-3 metres and shelters like in the lea of a building or under some trees are good. And I am sure it will fly away just fine.

    Good luck! Let us know how you get on.




    Our first Chrysalis is now a beautiful butterfly – still in the Castle hanging (from the Chrysalis) and drying in the sun shining through the netting!

    Thanks for your advice re wintering sites, so we will simply let the little lady free to find her way.

    It is sunny but a bit windy on the North Shore this arvo. We think she has been out of the Chrysalis for an hour or two. Have noticed a few other Monarchs in the immediate area just now. When should we let her go?? It is going to rain tomorrow and we are concerned that if we keep her enclosed overnight she might get damaged. Your advice please Jacqui?!

    Super Happy S&Kids



    Hi there

    Off the top of my head I don’t know of any overwintering sites on the North Shore, but the butterfly will find them if there are.

    Do let us know if that chrysalis makes it. There are always some that don’t survive that last few days though. Hope it does.



    Hello Jacqui/all,

    Looks like we may have some butterflies emerging very shortly (fingers crossed) and as you live in Auckland (as we do on the North Shore, Browns/Rothesay Bay) do you know of a wintering over area close by us?

    Also, our oldest Chrysalis (24 days) turned black a day ago. No smell from the Chrysalis and we can see the colours of its wings through the wall of the Chrysalis – is it likely to hatch soon and survive?




    I returned 16 May from 3 weeks away to find the swan plant that had been almost ignored all summer was near stripped. And 16 chrysalises hanging from the close by garage top sill, and more on a nearby shrub. The bigger swan plant out the back has more leaves so I transferred any large caterpillars to that plant. Also chrysalises on that plant, so butterflies hatching every day. Some are large and beautiful, others with crumpled wings which is sad. Also saw a female laying yesterday, but this cold windy snap will not be friendly. I don’t have many nectar flowers right now, so they might be flying to Norm’s house as he is not far away.
    Apparently the weather here in Tauranga was hot and sunny while I was away.



    I’m currently in Whangarei where there are a good number of monarch caterpillars on various plants, too. And before I left home (Auckland) on Saturday 14th, two monarchs were mating in my garden.

    Thanks for reporting this, Norm.

    We encourage everyone to put recordings like this into the database as it will be information we can look back on in subsequent years, probably easier to find it in the database than looking through the forum.

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