overwintering monarch auckland spots

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  • #39142


    Hi all/ Jacqui,

    I haven’t posted in quite a while but my love and efforts with the monarchs hasn’t been neglected in the same way. After what I can only say was the saddest and least productive summer I can remember for my monarchs- watching miserably and helplessly as caterpillar after caterpillar were taken by the horrid paper wasps that discovered all my plants and invaded our garden in such large numbers- yesterday I finally got my first and only monarch of the season (last year having raised 14 in total, this was a huge decline in my success rate). A boy, he emerged inside after I brought him in, deciding to give him a chance when I found him at the surprising stage of 5th instar, very late season on my swan plant, dangerously munching naively and oblivious, amidst the masses of evil swarming predators. I had given up all hope at this time and being so amazed and impressed he had made it that far decided to give him all the help I could, at the height of the pacific cyclones tail-ending through the country there was no way he would have made it much further outdoors weather or wasp wise. Having just put him out this morning in all his beautiful newborn glory, I am now watching him absorbing the morning sun of his first ever outdoor winter day, and wondering if anyone knows of some of the Auckland overwintering spots that he might go to cluster? We are in Torbay on the North Shore, Auckland. Would love an idea of some nearby places up this way that anyone knows of where my boy might take himself off to when he has had enough sunlight to take his first flight.

    Shadowbaby, (monarch mummy and soon to be human mummy- it was a race to see if the chrysallis or me would hatch first! chrysalis won, I’m still waiting 🙂

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  • #39153


    I’ve just been pruning my enormous Giant swanplant, as it is getting rather ‘leggy’ and strong winds and rain could damage it in the next storms of winter.
    I checked each piece carefully, and found an egg, and about 10 caterpillars ranging from just hatched to very fat, and 2 chrysalises as well as the 2 already hanging from the edge of the garage roof. It’s in a very sheltered north facing spot and I am near the sea so it won’t get frosted, so hopefully I will have Monarchs continuing to visit right through the winter if it stays as mild as predicted for Tauranga.
    Now the wasps are ignoring the caterpillars I’m leaving half on the plant and bringing half inside as they are about to pupate, so they can stay dry if they hatch on a bad weather day.
    Good luck ShadowBaby with your new little human one, and in a few years you can enjoy the look of absolute wonder as your small person first sees a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis.
    No matter how many times, it is always stunning. Enjoy motherhood.



    Take heart you two, a couple of hours North of you and I have had a really successful first season with caterpillars and butterflies. I am amazed at how many I have had successfully turn into butterflies and fly away. We are still having butterflies around and there are still a few small caterpillars as well as big ones, with lots of chrysalises yet to hatch. The local school (Waiotira) is also reporting many caterpillars on their swan plants now, yet to turn into chrysalises, and another Waiotira resident has also had many, many caterpillars resulting in lots of butterflies. Hopefully next year will be far better for you.



    Hi ShadowBaby

    Well, here in Blockhouse Bay I still have larvae but also newly-laid eggs so perhaps your male will want to mate and continue the cycle. Check your plants and see if you can find some eggs. At least the wasps have stopped feasting on them now. I have been moving caterpillars in to the relative safety of my butterfly house – and will continue to do so just so I can keep them all in the one place.

    Great to hear from you again. Yes, it’s been a horrible summer for butterflies.


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