Spring in the UK

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  • #13555


    Hi all

    Spring is well under way here in the UK and I have my first spring generation of Yellow Admirals emerging in the Butterfly House. I managed to get around 900 pupae from this first batch of 2009 larvae and 7 New Zealand Red Admirals from overwintered Larvae. I came very close to losing my Yellow Admirals this winter due to it being very cold and early pairings in January being infertile. but after giving the males soy sauce in the nectar supply they recovered and now I am in to my 12th year of continuous breeding of this species. I watch with interest how many new admiral breeders are appearing on this forum over in NZ and this is very good news for the survival of these 2 very special Admiral species. The more people that become aware, the more chance of protecting them from the ravages of mankinds destruction of there habitats and foodplants. Well done to all of you and keep up the good work!

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  • #20150


    Hi all, I gathered that the soya sauce in the artificial nectar not only prevented the mixture from fermenting, but also gave some essential ingredients for successful mating in captivity.

    i haven’t (yet) had experience with admirals, but with monarchs i had wondered why some pairs i had kept in the hope that they would mate did not do the deed! i had to release them.

    After following Nigel Venter’s recipe, one pair did! I’m currently raising the offspring 🙂




    Hi Jacqui/Terry,

    As I undewrstand it, from Nigel Venters, the soy sauce in the artificial nectar is there to prevent the mixture fermenting.
    It works and I now use it. Plain suger and water ferments after a few days of hot weather, but it does not appear to harm the butterflies other than make them a bit wonky. Tropical butterflies in the wild are known to imbibe on rotting and fermenting fruit, but our admirals are not in this category. Great to see your posts again Terry.



    Hi Jacqui
    I never left the Yellow Admiral business! This stock has never had any fresh blood introduced since I got the first ones 12 years ago, the Red Admirals on the other hand I find more difficult and usually only get two or three generations before they die out, but this year I discovered it’s better to bring small larvae over the winter than trying to hibernate the Adults, so they are slightly different from the Yellow Admirals in that respect. In future I will let the Reds go through the winter as hibernating larvae




    Hiya Terry!

    Nice to see you in here again. With it was spring here, LOL. No, I don’t really. We need the winter. I’ve managed to have a few YAs but my lifestyle is not too conducive to gardening/butterfly raising. It’s crazy. Home again for a few days, then away for 2-3, then away for two weeks, home again for a bit. Not normal at all!

    Great to hear you’re back in the Admiral business. It’s really “admirable” what everyone is doing – very exciting.

    Interesting to hear that you put soya sauce in to “arouse” those males – I had read that somewhere but people have been saying “nuh, it’s not necessary, there’s no verification in it…”

    Oh well, better get back to what I am MEANT to be doing!


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