Protecting Admiral Caterpillars?

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  • #51457


    Hi everyone,

    There are dozens of yellow Admiral tents in our nettle patch, with the biggest caterpillars now up to 10mm long. I was wondering if I should be moving them into the butterfly castle to protect them from being parasitised when they pupate. I’m guessing the answer is yes as there are white cabbage butterflies around, so probably the parasitic wasp that targets them is also present. Would be nice to be a bit more hands off this time of the season. Later in Summer I have observed German wasps moving through the nettles looking for caterpillars so I have mostly used the caterpillar castle at this time of the year.

    Hibiscus Coast

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  • #51459


    Hi Jacqui,

    Yes, you’re right about it being a matter of doing what you can, and accepting that there are limitations on time and other resources.
    It is such a rewarding and positive experience to be able to come home on a sunny day and release a number of yellow Admiral butterflies from the caterpillar castle:) We’re out and about on the coast with our mowing/gardening work most days, and we often notice Admirals, so there are certainly others out there doing their bit.
    Certification is some way off – will have to be more semi-retired for a start!




    Hi Susan

    I am also having a great season with yellow admirals. I have been cutting off the leaves with tents and putting them into a caterpillar castle with nettle stems that I cut daily. However, there are so many that now I’m going to leave them be – and if predators or parasitic wasps get them, that will have to be what happens. There’s only so much time. I should have lots of butterflies and a few caterpillars to take to the NZ Flower and Garden Show, however.

    Look at it this way: every one that you successfully rear and release is a good thing. It’s one more than if you didn’t help them… But sometimes our lives take over.

    Hope that helps you decide!

    When are you going to apply for certification?

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