Poor Mrs Monarch

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  • #12971

    haluca
    Participant

    I had an older lady following me around the garden this afternoon. She was obviously just trying to lay her last eggs and then "have a rest" as I tell my 3 year old. I spotted a gentleman, who himself was quite battered and bruised, eyeing her up, and the poor woman, he just wouldnt leave her alone. She didnt have much strength left so they were laying on the grass for about a half hour, she had folded herself right in half, so her tail end was by her head, I’m guessing she wasnt interested? Felt very sorry for her, poor thing. He eventually flew off when I walked past, not before having one last go, and shes now having a well deserved rest near the swan plants. They’re all the same, men are haha.

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  • #16706

    Yes they are getting very agressive lately, must be lots of butterflies and the males are competing to mate. Have a pile up today of 4, 3 males and a poor wee female. In the end the first male flew off with his lady attached. True love.

    #16701

    Gilly
    Participant

    My monarchs, today, were chasing the blackbirds, sparrows and thrush off my bird feeder!

    #16694

    Shaun
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui,

    Yeah, I knew about the dock leaf thing from when I was a kid in England. I used to eat stinging nettle leaves and, as long as I gripped them firmly with only my fingertips I didn’t get stung (much). I’d roll them into a ball and then eat them after an old woman (who would have been the village witch if it’d been 200 years earlier) told me that they were really good for the system and to eat at least a couple a day. I did that for several years, picking young, fresh leaves from the roadside on my way home from primary school.

    I might have a look with tongs tomorrow. However, I think that the Red Admiral might have come from the nettles I have as I noticed a curled leaf a couple times a month or two back but didn’t really see a larvae.

    Thanks,

    Shaun.

    #16692

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Shaun

    I’ve been stung a few times, and really it’s not a problem if you get bit, just crush a dock leaf – or kawakawa – and rub it on the itch, and hey presto it goes away instantly. I also use tongs to lift the leaves and look for larvae, works a treat!

    Jacqui

    #16689

    Shaun
    Participant

    I’m not sure if it laid eggs or not, I’m not that keen on handling the nettle. <g>
    I’m in Pukekohe.

    #16685

    Did it lay any eggs? and what area are you in?
    Keep planting the nettle, I am sure they will get a chance to lay on it at some point.

    #16683

    Shaun
    Participant

    I’m absolutely amazed by the aggression that (presumably male) Monarchs show. I have lots and lots around here (another 100 or more emerged over the last two days) and, while they’re flying around my head I hear them crashing into each other in mid-air! They make a real clicking noise as they clash.
    Actually, it annoys me. I’ve planted stinging nettles to provide larva food for Admirals and buddelias to attract and feed the adults and yesterday I saw the first Red Admiral that I’ve seen for years! (I saw a single Yellow Admiral last year.) The Red Admiral was feeding, or trying to, from the buddleia. However, whenever he ‘flashed’ his wings or tried to move to another flower he was literally mobbed by Monarchs who would chase him until they were well out of sight! Twice he came back a few minutes later but the third time I saw it happen he didn’t return. A shame as I was hoping to get a good pic. The only ones I managed to take that were in focus were with his wings closed.
    It seems that, with this many Monarchs around, the chances of me having Admirals as well are very slim. 🙁

    #16640

    Gilly
    Participant

    I get so cross with the randy males when they try to attack my new females… I now have a water pistol at the front door! 🙂

    #16630

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Haluca

    I started out with a mosquito net as a butterfly house – then went to The Warehouse and bought a little “greenhouse” – now have two of them, one for milkweed, and one for butterflies. They work really well and were surprisingly cheap. Especailly if you can get one when they’re on sale!

    Jacqui

    #16629

    Hi
    I had some old ranch slider doors and my husband built me a frame for them, sides are shade cloth and back and roof plastic, nice and cosy. Its been built in mind to house admiral butterflies, but I also use it to hatch all my Monarchs, grow milk weed etc. keeps the wasps out really well.

    The monarchs are not good in captivity so I only keep them a day or two once they have hatched before letting them go.

    I have my first batch of admirals on my nettle and I hope to raise them to butterflies, somehow encourage them to mate and lay eggs before i release them…. well thats the plan.
    Angie

    #16627

    haluca
    Participant

    Hahaha, the poor young man, bet he was thinking something wasnt right.

    Do you mind me asking what you use for a butterfly house? Did you build something specificly, or use something else?

    #16626

    Its not just the little old ladies that get roughed up, I rescued a old boy from the wet garden this morning and introduced him to my butterfly house, once he had got his strength back he then proceeded to pester (putting it nicely) a newly hatched male….

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