Out-of-season Admirals

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  • #14950

    Pepetuna
    Participant

    I brought a number of Admiral (not sure if Red or Yellow) larvae inside so they didn’t get frosted. I have tried to keep them coolish, but it is still warm inside my house. The first pupated yesterday. There are now three pupae and 1 more pupating now. There are probably another 15 smaller caterpillars. How long will out-of-season pupae take to emerge? I am leaving NZ for 3 weeks or so at the end of August.

    I can leave them in the begonia house in the jumbo sized caterpillar castle, with a nectar plant. Would that be their best chance? Or are there other ideas that I haven’t thought of?

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  • #28306

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Welcome back, Pepetuna. Great to hear about your Yellow Admirals.

    Jacqui

    #28302

    Pepetuna
    Participant

    I got back from the USA this week, and there were two Yellow Admirals butterflies which had only just emerged. So I just opened the zip, and they flew off in their own time.

    I had decided to put nectar plants in the bottom of each castle in case of emergence while I was away, and this worked – the plants were all still flowering happily.

    There are 25 chrysalises left, as many of the larvae pupated over the time I was away.

    #28178

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    I would agree with Jacqui on positioning the caterpillars.
    The pupae will develop according to the temperature rather than ‘out of season’ or not, the colder the temperature the longer the pupation. I had a yellow admiral emerge from its pupa on a fence last year Aug.7 after 38 days from when I had first noticed the pupa. The day was sunny with a temperature of 15c. taken at the fence, and the butterfly flew off after drying out.
    I sometimes think that we tend to ‘mother’ our butterflies too much, remember they are cold blooded creatures and can survive in nature quite admirably. I have had young admiral caterpillars on nettles in the garden come through 3 – 4 degree frosts with no problems, and of course there are wasps around that time of year. Remember also that what works for one species of butterfly, such as admirals, does not for the likes of monarchs.

    #28175

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hmmm… They might be better in the begonia house without the caterpillar castle, I think. So that the butterflies are free to fly when they emerge. Just my thoughts…

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