Little yellow admiral caterpillars

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  • #14193

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Reading about bringing the monarch crysallise inside – I have heard the admiral crysallise’s can over winter. Do I need to bring the adult caterpillars inside as weather gets worse? I live near Christchurch and we do get some good frosts. I have a green shde cloth set up to pull over the nettle to stop frosts, will the be sufficient for the caterpillars and crysallise as i am not sure how hardy the wee guys are and have trimmed back my protected native nettle retreat this year ( and sprayed with the dishwasing solution – so it’s good for the coming season hopefully) as had some mould/bug problems?

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #23871

    Swansong
    Participant

    The plants with yellowing leaves…are they in pots? If so, they still need to be watered frequently, even though the weather is getting colder. They also could be lacking in nutrients, which typically happens with pots. It is normal for a few sundry yellow leaves here and there, but when theres a lot, it is an indicator that something is lacking.

    #23867

    Rebecca
    Participant

    I’m keeping the chrysalises inside and I’ve moved my plants with caterpillars to a warmer area of my garden which is sheltered. I have started bringing the bigger caterpillars that are forming a chrysalis inside too. I still keep seeing monarch’s around my garden – I hope that they don’t lay anymore eggs … I still have heaps of baby caterpillars and lots of the leaves on my swan plants are turning yellow which is worrying.

    #23865

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Rebecca,

    Sorry for the delay, Jacqui has covered the question admirably.
    As a footnote, while the monarch caterpillars can withstand a certain amount of cold, the chrysalis cannot.
    Much different than the admirals.

    #23858

    Rebecca
    Participant

    Thanks for that Jacqui – yep they are mostly in pots. I can bring the pots inside for a few days but since I mostly put them in my laundry I don’t like to keep them inside for long periods of time as it is better for them to have fresh air and sunlight.

    The pots are in a sheltered area – next to walls and covered by eves as we have a small deck. However this is more of a shaded area so I will move them … we have a kind of outdoor shed in a sunnier area and it also offer protection on the southern side so I will move them there this afternoon.

    Thanks for that advice – I was getting worried about what to do with the smaller caterpillars as the weather is gradually getting colder here.

    #23848

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Rebecca

    Are the plants in pots? If they are and it’s possible, I would move them to the sunniest part of the outdoors – maybe on a terrace. Or if they’re in the ground, can you offer the plants some protecton on the southern side, and put out a cover of some sort at night?

    That would be my idea. Sometimes those big cartons that fridges come in are great as extra shelter, so logn as you have the time to pop them on and off again at the right time of day.

    When the butterflies emerge, I suggest you put them somewhere where they’re sheltered outdoors – so it could be under a tree or deck or eave… and on the warm side of it, so they get full sun. When they’re ready they will fly away to ‘warmer climes’.

    #23842

    Rebecca
    Participant

    NormTwigge – I was wondering the same thing about keeping monarch caterpillars inside and raising them in warmer conditions and then releasing them – they might get a bit of a shock when they get outside.
    At the moment I only have the chryslises inside as it is not too cold yet and the caterpillars that I have outside seem to be doing fine if growing on the slow side. For me, it is not the best option to keep my butterflies inside for a few days as there is no one at home during the day to make sure they are ok etc. I am getting worried because I have some small caterpillars and they are not going to turn into chrysalises for a hile yet and by the time they hatch the cold weather will be here well and truly. What should I do in that situation?
    So at this time of year in the Waikato area do you think it’s ok to keep monarch caterpillars outside?

    #23828

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Hi Yvonne,

    That question is a little hard to answer, depending on when the butterflies emerge. To be on the safe side I would acclimatise them and release them during a spell of two or three fine days.

    #23824

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Thanks for the info Norm, appreciate it. I still have a couple of yellows doing their thing. I have a friend that will be giving me some monarch caterpillars soon that I will have them inside, if I let them out on a warm day will they go find shelter for the winter or should I try to slowly acclimatise them to colder temperatures before releasing them?

    #23819

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    The adults that emerged mid to late summer will have mated and in the case of females will have laid all their eggs.
    Having completed the task nature demanded of them, they will die off. There are the late (autumn) adults that will overwinter and start their laying in the spring, caterpillars will be overwintering, and in the warmer frost free areas of New Zealand some butterflies may continue to oviposit on sunny days.

    #23817

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Thanks for that Norm,
    Will keep them outside then. So Will the adults that are outside now find a tree to seek shelter and survive the winter?
    Regards,
    Yvonne

    #23816

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Hi Yvonne,

    Finally got through using Darrens link. If the caterpillars are secure from predators outside they will be fine. They will handle heavy frosts no problem. Their metabolism slows right down with the onset of winter and their feeding slows also. They will develop at a much slower rate and pupate late winter or early spring. One of the problems with rearing them in indoor conditions is that they will develop normally in the warm conitions, and when the adult emerges (winter) and it is released it probably will not survive as it will not be conditioned to the cold. The option then is to let them live out their life in the indoor conditions.

    #23807

    YvonneWallis
    Participant

    Thanks for that Swansong. I won't have to worry about the birds as I have a plant box surround, around the nettles and the shade cloth goes over the whole top. Will be a problem though if i take the cover off during the day so might have to do this when I'm in the vacinity so I can keep vigilance. i might pot up some more juvenille nettles that have escaped to the vege garden and bring some inside.
    Cheers,
    Yvonne

    #23806

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hi Yvonne, others will know more than me, but I'll comment anyway : ). Admirals are quite a bit more hardy than Monarchs, and apparently do withstand frosts, but probably their whole growth rate slows down substantially as a result.

    One thing you might like to think about though is bringing them inside to protect them not only from those meeeean CHCH frosts that can happen, but from predators as well. Birds enjoy Admiral pillars.

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