Observations made in recent years

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  • #45894


    Having joined the MBNZT in the last 6 months and read the recent magazines I thought that I could make some comments from observations that I have made in recent years.
    1 A few years ago while visiting the Arataki nature trail in the Waitakeres Auckland ,I followed a Forest Ringlet laying eggs on the native sedge and collected 3 eggs as soon as they were laid.To my surprise all 3 hatched minute black wasps a week later. There was NO way a parasite was able to get to these eggs…until I read that these butterflies have origins in Malaysia…where I have read that in Malaysia parasites attach to the female butterfly near the ovipositor at hatching or mating from the male. Up to 90% of eggs are parasitized. I have a hunch that this is the same type of parasite found in NZ. Numbers are also likely to be affected by the Asian paper wasp which in dry warm years can do enormous damage as in the last summer.
    2 All butterflies do better in an El Nino year like the present..the main reason is the wind and cold slow if not reduce radically the Asian paper wasp…last summer saw such a reduction in all insects due to the Asian paper wasp predating on them…I make the assumption that this year there will be a growth of all the populations butterflies and other insects including their parasites by the end of the summer.

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  • #45904


    Hi Natty65 – interesting observations!

    I would be delighted to think that there are still forest ringlets in the Waitakeres… When you say “a few years ago”, roughly how many? There have been no reports of them in the Auckland area to my knowledge for over 20 years. Here’s hoping that your information is right!

    I have noticed less Asian paper wasps in my garden this year. Long may that continue! My neighbour suspects that there was a large nest on a piece of land that is now being developed as a retirement village.


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