Pumpkin as Alternative food

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  • #12849

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all – Please forgive me if I am suggesting things that you already know as I am new to this forum!

    If anyone finds that Monarch Larvae fed on pumpkin become weak and fail to pupate the best method to overcome this problem is to always have some spare potted Milkweeds that are used exclusivly for the following method. Cut off a few leaves and part of the stem crush in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of water and stir, paint this mixture on to the Pumpkin strips that the larvae are feeding on, the resulting mixture contains the poisons and chemicals unique to the milkweeds that are esential to the proper development of the larvae, this method will not work if the larvae are very small but is normaly sufficient to bring through larger larvae. The best Milkweed I have found for this method is Asclepius Curassavica as (I assume)this is the most poisonous and is high in the toxins that the Monarch Larvae like to utilise.

    Terry

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  • #16310

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    << when you mess with nature you don’t really know what will happen.>>

    True!

    It’s sad but it’s a learning curve, and if you didn’t “try” you would never learn.

    J.

    #16306

    adcat
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui for the vote of confidence in the pics. Unfortunately that happily munching caterpillar just doesn’t have what he needs to complet the metamorphosis I don’t think. He took ages to hang and though he looked in great condition didn’t seem able to produce the right sticky silk to hang well. He’s hanging by a thin thread an I thought he was dead but today ( 24hrs later) he is wriggling and pulsing but not achieving anything. I guess when you mess with nature you don’t really know what will happen. I released another butterfly yesterday but the weather is very windy and rainy so I don’t hold much hope for it either as it got stuck on the roof for ages and I was out there “bird watching”!! Ready to throw something at the nearest one if they came near it!!! It’s funny how this gets you in isn’t it?
    I will post some pics of my sick caterpillar hanging to see if anyone knows anything from them.

    #16305

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Your photos are wonderful, Adrienne.

    J.

    #16302

    Shaun
    Participant

    Great to hear that he’s still munching, he seemed keen on the swan plant once he ‘woke up’. 🙂

    I’m fairly convinced that they need the latex from the plant to make their silk hanging-pad. I had problems with mine the longer they’d been on pumpkin. Might have something to do with the fact that the latex is around 2% raw rubber? Could be something to do with it.

    Great pics BTW, thanks for sharing.

    #16301

    adcat
    Participant

    Just a note to say thanks SHaun for the swan plants. It was so good of you to do that to save one caterpillar. Would you believe he is still munching?!! He has plumped right up again and is in really good shape. I expect he will hang in the next day I found the address for my pictures. I will post some more there tonight including one of the renewed healthy caterpillar. Thanks again, Adrienne

    http://nz.msnusers.com/Natureshots

    #16292

    Shaun
    Participant

    Hi Adrienne,

    I’m in Pukekohe and can bring you out a swan plant tomorrow if you like. It’s not huge but it’s potted up ready and should be plenty of food for one cat. call me on 238 1813 after noon tomorrow if you’d like the plant.

    Cheers,

    Shaun.

    #16291

    adcat
    Participant

    I can’t believe it he’s come to life and is trying to munch again, I think he’s looking for the swan plant It took about 60 seconds for him to get munching and moving after lying down for most of the day. thanks for the tip Terry , hopefully it will get him through to tomorrow.
    Adrienne

    #16290

    adcat
    Participant

    Help,
    I have one caterpillar left and he i tarting to fade. I have no sap and I just wish I had seen this topic a few days ago. I may be able to get a few leaves tomorrow, but I have to drive out into the country as I don’t know anyone in Waiuku with a swan plant. I had taken the water out of the container and the branches have dehydrated but I chopped off some stem and cut it up then pured boiling water over it. Then dipped the pumpkin into it. I palced it under the cat. and he seems to be eating it . I hope he makes it.
    HOw long do you thnk a caterpillar can last at this stage?

    #16079

    Terry
    Participant

    OK! I am Pleased to be of assistance. Please remember to be careful if you get too much sap on to your skin, it may be absorbed and make you feel a bit sick, the main toxins in milkweeds are heart toxins so try to wear gloves and avoid too much skin contact. Curassavica sap smellS just like some disinfectants but I can’t pin down exactly which type!
    Some time last year I was re-potting one of my Mothers house plants, a Hoya carnosa (same family as the Milkweeds) and I accidentaly broke a few leaves off in the process, the sap that got on to my skin must have been absorbed in to my bloodsteam as I had a reaction that made me feel weak and lethargic and almost hallucinatory (I saw flashing colours)”My Heart felt fine”, it was not serious but it could have been in a higher dose, it lasted about 30 mins and then wore off with no after effects. When birds try to eat Monarch Larvae they often react by appearing listless so I assume it has a similar if not more pronounced affect on them.

    Terry

    #16077

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Brilliant tip, Terry. No, I hadn’t heard of that before.

    I have been digging up plants today – about 1000 of them, they’re growing like weeds in a lady’s garden here in town, and I”ve already dug up 1,000, there’s probably another 1,000 left. Quite often the scent of the leaves is so strong it makes me feel ill and headachy. I’m like that tonight. It’s especially bad when it’s hot and I suspect the toxins are thicker than normal.

    I’ve never done a test whether any of the plants are higher in toxins or not, but I suspect I saw something on the net once – I’ll have to check it out.

    Great tip! THANKS.

    Jacqui

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