New Chrysalis but it's very cold out in Marlborough, what next

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  • #47980


    I have a caterpillar that has changed and is on the plant. We brought the plant inside a week ago as its dropping down to 1°c at night sometimes now, we won’t be far off our first frost. What do I do with it once it hatches? Will it survive outside ? Out of 7 that we brought inside he is the only one to survive.

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  • #48000


    Hi Caryl, I replied to your message yesterday bit didn’t appear to post it! Yes please, that would be amazing if you would send some eggs or caterpillars to us here later in the year. It’s so sad to see the lack of them around, I’m not entirely sure what is responsible for it but it’s been disappointing watching our big fat caterpillars just vanish!


    Vicki B

    Hi, Jacqui,
    I was very pleased to see that you have known chrysalids to stay in that form for two weeks or more before emerging as butterflies. I was amazed to find that a chrysalis I have had since 8 April, raised inside, and one which was very pale in colour until this morning, has emerged as a beautiful butterfly, inside, in Kapiti tonight. That was three weeks! I thought it must have died, but it was a much darker colour this morning, and I’m thrilled! I will keep it inside overnight and probably put the “cage” outside tomorrow afternoon.



    Thanks for that, I wasn’t sure if once it started to freeze they are meant to be hibernating already or not! I’m not sure what’s happened to our monarchs in Marlborough, we have a lot of wasps, both paper and normal and also a lot of praying mantis. I wonder if they are responsible for the decline in population. We never saw any monarchs until February and there was hardly anything after that. I have these amazing massive lush swan plants that never got stripped



    Hi Liv

    It will take about two weeks for yor chrysalis to become a butterfly – perhaps longer. Indoors the temperature will be much more what we are accustomed to – and what monarchs are used to in the summer.

    Keep the plant in a warm place with as much daylight as it can get. When the butterfly emerges, don’t worry about it. It takes several hours – perhaps half a day – until it’s ready to fly, and it will not need anything to eat for the first 24 hours. However, remember the temperatures indoors are not what it will experience out of doors. So probably early afternoon is the best time to take it outside.

    Leave it somewhere sheltered (from wind and if it’s raining) and with maximum sunlight (if there is any) so that it will warm up and be able to fly away. Don’t worry – it will adjust to the conditions. Butterflies survive through wind and rain and cold, but when it’s a gale or snowing, it can of course knock the weaker ones off their perches.

    Hope that helps.

    Why are there no butterflies in Marlborough? Is it because of wasps?



    Hi Liz, Sorry to hear of the lack of monarchs in Marlborough. I am in Wellington and monarchs lay their eggs on my plants as early as late August/beginning of September. I could send some eggs to you – I have sent eggs and caterpillars to 7 South Island locations this season. Caryl



    Sorry, I should have put, it has changed into a chrysalis. He’s inside on a plant but once he hatches I’m not sure what I can do to give it the best run? This is my one and only successful caterpillar this year and I’d like to be able to do what I can to help it survive without interfering too much. Monarchs are very rare in Marlborough these days! It’s quite sad, I used to have hundreds every year but nowadays the caterpillars just vanish.

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