Painted Lady butterflies might be about

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    Topic
  • #15429

    Pepetuna
    Participant

    I happened to go over to Thames today. Glorious day. When we arrived I was sure I saw a Painted Lady but was not able to follow it up (if had been on my own, I would have had the net out tout de suite!). So Clinton and others in Thames, be on the lookout for them. I believe it is October to November we should expect to see them.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 50 total)
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  • #36840

    Jane
    Participant

    Wonderful Norm 😀

    #36806

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great stuff, Norm. Happy New Year!!!

    #36804

    Errol
    Participant

    Yes indeed, great news Norm and we hope you continue getting more pairings and hatchings.

    #36799

    Terry
    Participant

    Brilliant news!

    I hope you get loads from this generation!

    #36798

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    As at the middle of last week 8 Painted Lady butterflies had emerged, and by Tuesday of this week there had been sign of pairings or egg laying. Tuesday evening we went to Tauranga to spend Xmas with family, and arriving home Boxing day was happy to find one of them ovipositing. At dusk another two had paired after some chasing so it looks like another generation is on the way.

    #36641

    Jane
    Participant

    Congratulations Norm! That fantastic news. I hope you have plenty of host plants to keep them busy.

    #36638

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Great news Norm. Good pics to of the different stages.
    You must be in heaven at present Norm 🙂

    #36622

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Awesome, Norm! This is so exciting. Are you finding enough weeds around to keep them satisfied?

    #36621

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Norm

    The butterfly, imagine, pupae, and larvae are very similar to our Cynthia cardui. It just goes to show how closely related they are. I reared c cardui on nettles just because it was convenient and not the normal “thistles” food-plants. You may find that V Kershawi will take other plants not noted as food-plants in the books just like ours. One young lad in the UK actually bred c cardui using ribwort plantain as a food-plant with no problems.

    #36619

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    This morning the first Painted Lady pupa hatched after 10 days pupation, the pristine butterfly was released into the butterfly house, and the camera was working overtime. This one formed a pupa almost a week ahead of the others so I need to ensure the butterfly is well fed and content until a mate appears. Not sure of the sex yet as it is very hard to determine, and I was wrong when I caught its mother, but when I have several it will become more apparent just by comparison.

    Link here: https://www.monarch.org.nz/2013/12/14/painted-lady-stages/

    The three pupae pictured were all different colours (before the butterfly emerged) which is not unusual with admirals also. The caterpillar has the distinctive lemon coloured stripe down each side which is one of the identification features.

    #36615

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Hi Terry, because the monarchs flying in the butterfly house with the Lesser Wanderers had no problems and remained healthy I did not put it down to disease.
    But there may be other factors involved also.

    #36509

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Norm

    One little tip for you! If you start to get die off in the stock and weak or deformed imagines after a few generations, don’t automatically put it down to lack of genetic diversity as stated in many of the old studies on butterflies. Start sterilising the eggs as it may just be disease infiltrating the stock. I used to believe what was written in those old studies, but as you know egg sterilisation had a dramatic effect on my stock. The only disease that appears to resist egg sterilisation treatment is wilt. If you get this disease then it’s a hit and miss affair I’m afraid.

    Best of luck!

    I really hope you are 100% successful!

    #36507

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Terry I hope to take the Painted Ladies through the winter as I did the Lesser Wanderers, and hope that if they manage to go through until spring I may chance on another catch. Even after Xmas there is the possibility of other sightings, so I dream of securing another. Being a migratory butterfly I suspect the Painted Lady is a somewhat hardier breed, I certainly hope so.
    Errol that is quite fascinating about the 13 human couples needed to provide sufficient genetic diversity, I think Terry started with 7 Yellow Admiral ova and has lasted an amazing 16 years, so that is a good indication.

    #36462

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    A member has just pointed out that this article appeared in the magazine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Might be of interest to some who haven’t seen it before.

    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201312/painted-lady-butterfly-mystery-revealed/#p1

    #36461

    Errol
    Participant

    Yes Norm, well done. Now let’s all hope another P.Lady flies into your backyard and gives you some genetic diversity.

    I remember seeing somewhere that for humans to start a colony in a new land, they needed I think it was a minimum of 13 couples to give enough genetic diversity.

    I wonder how many pairs or individuals it would take for the P.Ladies to have enough diversity, probably not as much as humans?

    #36460

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Exciting stuff, Norm. If anyone can do it… YOU can!

    Wonderful.

    #36455

    Pepetuna
    Participant

    Fantastic news Norm. Thanks for keeping us posted. Watching this project with great interest!

    #36454

    Terry
    Participant

    That’s fantastic news Norm!
    I am so pleased you managed to get some V Kershawi after such a long wait. I hope you manage to get plenty of pairings from the resulting butterflies and a few more generations for the rest of the summer.
    Will you try and breed them through the winter if you can build up the numbers enough in time? It would be an interesting experiment to try.
    The Painted lady we have visit the UK in summer, cynthia cardui can be paired during the winter in small fight cages if kept warm and under artificial light, if the light is kept on for up to 16 hrs at a time. (I managed this with v atalanta) However, this can be shortened if the temperature is increased accordingly. I remember reading an article about this method way back in the 1980s before trying it out myself. The lepidopterist who did this first, kept the imagines in a cardboard box covered in netting with a 100 watt halogen light suspended above the cage. However since then Horticulture lamps have been used to better effect but I cannot remember the source for this info so cannot give details. Horticulture lamps have a wider spectrum and are safer for use indoors as Halogen lights get very hot and are a fire hazard.
    I know day length has an effect on fertility in c cardui but I know little about v kershawi in this respect.

    #36452

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    The first of the Painted Lady larvae pupated yesterday with others due to follow in a couple of days, so there should be some butterflies soon and with a little luck some pairing, so I am looking forward to another generation. Have been potting up heaps of “weeds” in anticipation of another generation, and I will post some photographs of pupa and larvae when I find time.

    #36127

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Thanks Terry, I am heading off in the morning for another full day’s searching with a sunny forecast. Also was very surprised to find that the first of the eggs, deposited on the 7th Nov, started eclosing this afternoon, after a mere 5 days incubation.
    Mind you they were in my office which gets quite warm during the day, the others out in the butterfly house deposited on the same day have not matured yet, so temperature is the key factor here, as you have shown by cooling the eggs in the fridge. The Australian butterfly books and references give the incubation period as anywhere from 7 to 11 days, so they were quick.
    Fingers crossed now for tomorrow!

    #36120

    Terry
    Participant

    I wish you well on your quest Norm and hope you get at least another 2 females preferably already paired and a male just in case.

    #36108

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Last Saturday I returned to the Quarry gardens again to see if I could sight any more Painted Lady butterflies. When I arrived Mary said she had seen one on the grass sunning itself, which she approached quite close, but did not have a net with her. During the day Mary had another sighting and I had two sightings but unfortunately they were not close enough. So now I am on a mission to catch at least one more butterfly and will make another trip to Tauranga this week when a fine day is forecast, meanwhile potting up lots of weeds and plants in readiness.

    #36105

    clinton9
    Participant

    Cudweeds are more suitable food plants than Cape weeds as Cape weeds are not ideally suitable foods for PL butterfly caterpillars, butterflies reared on Cape weeds, had bad smells, while butterflies reared on cudweeds did not had bad smells.

    #36081

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Yes Errol it would be awesome to establish a breeding colony of P.L.’s, and even a couple of eggs from a different butterfly reared through to adults would give a more diverse gene pool.
    Jane the District council is supplying me with Cape weed – – – I go round the parks and reserves and dig it out of the grassed areas LOL. But I also have a couple of other hostplant varieties which have been potted up for years should the occasion arise, and the Painted Lady laid more eggs today on the Rodanthe “paper cascade”. Playing the waiting game now.

    #36073

    Jane
    Participant

    Hey that’s great news Norm. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with those eggs. Do you have plenty of Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula) around to feed the larvae, assuming of course that they are viable eggs?

    I guess if people are looking for Painted Lady, a good place to try would be looking for the eggs on areas of Capeweed.

    Painted Lady egg

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