Stripped swan plants, Otaki

  • Creator
  • #60997


    I have 9 swan plants of which 7 have been completely stripped by the monarch caterpillars. 2 have a few leaves left. I have put out some pumpkin and courgette but not sure that this is the best food for them. If there is anyone in the area who would like to re-home some of them to a healthy bush, please let me know.
    I’m new to this site and I’m sure there have been lots of suggestions as to how to help them. Is it ok to keep feeding the pumpkin and courgette?

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  • #61019


    Helen if you’re visiting Wellington I could take some caterpillars. I am in Seatoun 027 8426773 (txts best), Caryl



    Monarch biologists no longer recommend alternative foods such as pumpkin or cucumber as the adults are often visibly deformed, and younger caterpillars do not thrive on anything but milkweed. As they point out, even if the butterfly that emerges after eating pumpkin etc LOOKS fine, it is possible that in subsequent generations the lack of cardenolides (the toxins found in milkweed) may have affected the butterfly’s reproduction, or navigation or ability to ward off predators.

    Food for thought!




    pumpkin/cucumber and probably courgette is fine for late stage caterpillars i.e. the very big ones just about to pupate. but its no good for smaller caterpillars as it has not got what they need to develop. While they ‘might’ pupate there are a lot of deformities.
    I believe there is a facebook page dedicated to people with plants or looking for plants for the caterpillars.

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