Survey – just the basics please!

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  • #13919

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi all – would be grateful if you could participate in this survey. Would also appreciate it if you could keep it brief, i.e. don’t add any more information than the essentials. If you’re not sure, best guess is fine – it’s just to get a guideline about what is happening out there.

    In most parts of NZ there doesn’t seem to be many Monarchs about – but this is what Margaret and I observed today,

    Number/species of milkweed plants: 40-50 swan plants, 2 tropical milkweed

    Community/suburb: Russell and Tapeka

    Weather: October was cold/wet, no spring, long hot dry summer so far.

    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: one female egg-laying

    Larvae/pupae observed: none

    Eggs observed: 20-25

    Praying mantises: none

    Aphids: 1 colony (that’s on one branch of one plant)

    Ladybirds: 1

    Bees: a few on most plants

    Wasps: 1 observed

    Ants: a few

    To help, you can copy and paste the headings in the next post into the next blank response box, and then add the details:

Viewing 17 replies - 26 through 42 (of 42 total)
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  • #22376

    Grace
    Participant

    Far North:
    dozens of milkweed plants (red, yellow, white) under netting.
    Three or four Monarchs, no caterpilars, no eggs. a few Monarchs over-wintered, but very few new ones appearing now.
    very few wasps, praying mantises, lady birds, white cabbage butterflies, far fewer aphids than last year. Toward the end of last season a lot of Monarchs hatched with deformed or bent wings. Plenty of bees and bumble bees. We do not use any toxic sprays.

    #22375

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    From Jean in Taranaki:

    Number/species of milkweed plants:10
    Community/suburb:opunake taranaki
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe:NO v wet and humid and foggy
    Not taranaki weather at all.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:0
    Larvae/pupae observed:0
    Eggs observed:
    Praying mantises:0
    Aphids:a few on Roses
    Ladybirds:only stranded in swimming pool
    Bees:Honey 0 Bumble bees 100’s
    Wasps:0
    Ants:0
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:0

    #22374

    Shaun
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: 2 x 2m+ over three year old Swan Plants. Several small unmolested self-seeded plants have popped up here and there. A couple of Asclepias that haven’t attracted Monarchs either.

    Community/suburb: Pukekohe

    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: I don’t really know. I think that it started out as a warm spring (early Sept) and since then has been a lot colder than normal. I could be wrong though…

    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: One in early spring, none for a couple months, a few more appearing now.

    Larvae/pupae observed: A half-dozen early spring but none made it to adulthood. At the end of last summer there were a lot of paper wasps here, chewing my hardwood stakes for nest material…. There are a few small larvae on the plants now and quite a few eggs. I haven’t seen a paper wasp for a couple months so maybe someone took care of the nest?

    Eggs observed: As above. Quite a few now.

    Praying mantises: Only the native variety (I kill the SA pests on sight) but they’re in a different part of the garden.

    Aphids: A few, not as many as previous years.

    Ladybirds: None.

    Bees: Not a lot but enough to pollinate my passionfruit.

    Wasps: As above. Lots of paper wasps last year, not observed any in the last couple months.

    Ants: Yep, lots on the Swan plants, as well as everywhere else in my garden. I think I live on a giant ant-hill. However they’ve been on the plants in previous years when there have been lots of butterflies and larvae around.

    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed: None.

    Any other comments: This has been the worst season for Monarchs that I’ve noticed since I started planting Swan Plants. I’ve cut back radically on the amount of milkweeds that I grow as I’m vegetable gardening and I can only do so much. Surely the scarcity of Monarchs around Pukekohe isn’t due to me not growing hundreds of plants each year?

    Season’s greetings to all.

    #22373

    Betty Herring
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants:Giant Swan plants 100+ as well as access to Moth plant
    Community/suburb:Waihau Bay – North Eastern Bay of Plenty
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe:Very changeable, dry and mainly westerly wind
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:Just started to have a few around, had 5 hatch in the last few days, didn’t see earlier butterflies.
    Larvae/pupae observed:None at present
    Eggs observed:Most plants have eggs at present, busy time ahead!
    Praying mantises:None
    Aphids:Yes, but mainly on one plant, had heaps earlier, daily sqish took some time, wish it would stay like this
    Ladybirds:Yes, quite a few I’m sure they are helping me out
    Bees:Yes, quite a few attracted to Swan plant flowers
    Wasps:Not yet
    Ants:Quite a few, not on plants
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:None noticed
    Any other comments:This is usually the time of year the Monarchs come to visit so time to get busy and keep checking plants each day. Did not have a very good season last year, I think my plants were too small and immature, got cleaned out the season before when I had hundreds, at least 600 that hatched, plants good so far so will see what this season brings.

    #22371

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: 2 x swan plants and 1 tropical plant
    Community/suburb: Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: wet spring, but a fairly typical summer now. warm and dry
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: 1 -3 a day
    Larvae/pupae observed: 10 – 20 pillars
    Eggs observed: few eggs on plants
    Praying mantises: none
    Aphids: none
    Ladybirds: none
    Bees: a few bees around
    Wasps: none
    Ants: yes
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed: none
    Any other comments: This is my grand daughters plants at her house.

    Thanks
    Char

    #22370

    tramp
    Participant

    Te Puna Quarry Park:
    Number/species of milkweed plants: four different species, about 100
    Community/suburb: Te Puna Quarry Park
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: dry and windy
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: 10-20 most days
    Larvae/pupae observed: not a lot, take them into b/fly house when I see them.
    Eggs observed: lots, but they disappear
    Praying mantises: a few over the last few weeks
    Aphids: not many, don’t need to control them
    Ladybirds: a few
    Bees: Lots of honey bees and bumble bees
    Wasps: not a lot
    Ants: yes, when the temps arrive and it’s humid
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed: none
    Any other comments: A similar year to two years ago, where we didn’t get any caterpillars until February, when the wasps changed their diets. It allowed the plants to mature.

    Number/species of milkweed plants: five different plants, about 100+
    Community/suburb:
    Otumoetai/Pillans Point
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: hot, dry and windy
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: 5-15 most days
    Larvae/pupae observed: in sheltered areas, 8-10 around the garden
    Eggs observed: lots of eggs. I’m collecting them and let them hatch in containers on prunings of plant.
    Praying mantises: not a lot
    Aphids: not a problem
    Ladybirds: a few
    Bees: a few – not as many as at Te Puna
    Wasps: some, not a lot.
    Ants: they’re a problem – I cleaned up one tree using Raid mliquid ant killer, in a pot at the bottom of the tree. Ran some down the trunk of the plant and they’ve all gone tonight. Dont’ know how long it will last.
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed: nothing

    #22364

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Number/species of milkweed plants: Gaint Swan Plants
    Community/suburb: Mt Eden
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: some great days, but cool westerly wind
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:1 until dec, then upto 3 a day since
    Larvae/pupae observed: dozens of 1-3 instar cats
    Eggs observed: dozen or two as well
    Praying mantises: serveral small
    Aphids: mainly PassionVine Hoppers
    Ladybirds:0
    Bees:1 live, 2 dead
    Wasps:few
    Ants:nest not far away
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:
    Any other comments: very slow start to the season.

    #22363

    Ross Jackson
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants:10 swanplant, 3 Swamp Milkweed.
    Community/suburb:Hokitika
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe:Season has been wet with frequent cold spells, starting to warm up now.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: None
    Larvae/pupae observed:None
    Eggs observed:None
    Praying mantises:None
    Aphids:Plenty partic in last week
    Ladybirds:None
    Bees:moderate numbers
    Wasps:none
    Ants:none
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:
    Any other comments: I know of only one garden in Hokitika that has had caterpillars, about 15. These have all pupated.
    I have just brought back 8-10 cats and about the same eggs from CHCH. Did not see any butterflies during the 4 days we were there.

    #22359

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Number/species of milkweed plants : 11 1m swan plants
    Community/suburb: Henderson, West Auckland
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: An early, short burst of spring in August, no proper spring and a late summer.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed ? 2-6 most days in December an a few early ones in August which resulted in eggs, lavae and pupae ? and butterflies.
    Larvae/pupae observed: released six butterflies and given 50+ caterpillars away
    Eggs observed : yes
    Praying mantises : no
    Aphids : a few small clusters
    Ladybirds : a few
    Bees : yes ? honey and bumble
    Wasps :no
    Ants: no
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed; not noticed
    Any other comments: My plants are all netted off now trying to recover after the early onslaught but they still manage to lay eggs through the nets. Season is about the same as last year for Monarch numbers.
    Trisha

    #22358

    happyjohnny
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: 100+ plants of varying sizes including at least 10 huge ones. Mixture of Swan Plants and Giant Swan Plants.
    Community/suburb: Mt Maunganui
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: Yes. Hot and Dry. Early Spring and Early Summer.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: Many, 5+ can be seen around the garden at any given time on a sunny day.
    Larvae/pupae observed: Yes, 30+/- on the sheltered plants at the southern side of the house – NONE on any of the other plants. (wasps are the culprits)
    Eggs observed: Yes, can be found on all large plants.
    Praying mantises: Yes, still very small.
    Aphids: Yes, only on the west-facing plants.
    Ladybirds: Yes, but more so on the east-facing plants.
    Bees: Yes, mainly bumblebees here, but the occasional honeybee too.
    Wasps: YES – Asian Paper Wasps can be seen hunting on the north, east, and west-facing plants – these are killing ALL of my baby caterpillars on these plants. Strangely enough they don’t look around the southern side of the house.
    Ants: Yes, happily drinking nectar from the swanplant’s flowers.
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed: No
    Any other comments: For me it’s the paper wasps, no doubt in my mind.

    #22357

    Jane
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants:G.frutx22 G.physx16 A.currassx4 (50 small plants not included)
    Community/suburb:Palmerston North, Milson.
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: Mostly Very Windy,warm.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:1
    Larvae/pupae observed:15
    Eggs observed:10
    Praying mantises:0
    Aphids:0
    Ladybirds:2
    Other Beneficial insects:Hoverfliesx4, Lacewingsx2 (That will explain no aphids)
    Bees:2
    Wasps:4
    Ants:approx 20
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:
    Any other comments:Many eggs laid Xmas day now gone. 1 indoor raised female released today, 10 pupae raised indoors to come

    #22355

    Stefan Olson
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: 5 2m tall swanplants
    Community/suburb: Hokowhitu, Palmerston North
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: October was very warm and saw some eggs being laid which never seemed to go anywhere. Since then, it has been terribly windy and cold, with only a few warm days recently.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: only ever one at a time and not a regular basis. only females, no males.
    Larvae/pupae observed: I’ve got caterpillars ranging in size from tiny to J’s – at least 25, I’d say. 25+ chrysalises. However I have noticed a 30% on failure rate of Js tuning in to a chrysalis – much higher than last year. also in a lot of cases, the chrysalis doesn’t correctly shed the skin – it stays attached to the little black bit at the top.
    Eggs observed: about 10 on one plant – I generally don’t bother to check for them.
    Praying mantises: None
    Aphids: the orange ones have completely taken control of my plants and take an incredible amount of time to keep under control. I’m very reticent to put in more plants because it’s such a frustrating problem. First time I’ve had major problems with them. I think I didn’t kill them all at the beginning of winter. At the end of this season, I guess I’ll have to spray them.
    Ladybirds: a few blue ones – up to 6 a plant – only seen one red one
    Bees: occasional bumblebees. Not like last year with where there were a lot. Only one honeybee that I’ve seen. The flys and the black wasp/bee (not sure what it is) are interested in the nectar on the swanplant.
    Wasps: None.
    Ants: plenty of ants trying to go after the aphids and the nectar
    …Stefan

    #22354

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: 32 large swan plants, 100 small swan plants, 7 tropical milkweed, 3 swamp milkweed.
    Community/suburb: Massey, West Auckland
    Weather: wet spring, but a fairly typical summer now. warm and dry
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: 2 – 3 females egg-laying on a daily basis. Most days have the resident males in the garden around 4 -5 of them.
    Larvae/pupae observed: around 40 larvae under a net at present (small pillars on other plants). Have had 150 pupae emerge over the last 2 months.
    Eggs observed: 10-15 eggs per large plant
    Praying mantises: none
    Aphids: none
    Ladybirds: several on plants
    Bees: a few bees and bumble bees around
    Wasps: few asian paper wasps in the garden
    Ants: some around the garden
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:None
    Any other comments: More male Monarchs around. But a couple of females laying on plants. A few couples mating on plants. also.

    #22353

    Chrissie Ward
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants:29 swanplants, 2 swamp milkweeds.
    Community/suburb:Central Nelson (my back yard)
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: Cold spring. Dry November, but strong wind every afternoon. Warm and sunny now.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: A monarch has been laying eggs most days for the last 10 days; probably more than one individual.
    Larvae/pupae observed: One pupa, one in J-shape. 7 tiny caterpillars, 2 almost ready to pupate.
    Eggs observed: approx 45, none on the swamp milkweeds.
    Praying mantises: a few juveniles, mostly the African species.
    Aphids: small infestations of the orange ones.
    Ladybirds: Very scarce.
    Bees: Plenty. We have a solitary bee nesting site in the garden. Apart from them, lots of bumbles and honey bees.
    Wasps: Big numbers in spring and early summer, none now.
    Ants: In other parts of the garden, but not near milkweeds.
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:none.
    Any other comments: Of the first generation of caterpillars, all except 4 were killed by paper wasps.
    Chrissie

    #22352

    bevs
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants:30-40 mixed plants
    Community/suburb:Mt Albert
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe:No. Even on most warm days there has been a cold wind.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:Mostly one or two. On two calm, sunny days there were at least ten in my garden
    Larvae/pupae observed:Far less than last year. Today there ten from tiny to 4th instar.
    Eggs observed:Lots of eggs from August. Few hatched till late October – November. Many young cats but they did not mature. Few eggs on plants now despite observing butterflies appearing to lay eggs earlier this week.
    Praying mantises:No adults but a few juveniles
    Aphids: Mild infestations on some plants
    Ladybirds:three or four seen in the last week
    Bees:Lots of bumble bees but rarely a honey bee seen here
    Wasps: German and Asian wasps taking nectar
    Ants: Some nests under rocks but none near milkweed
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:None observed
    Any other comments: A disappointing count of about 22 mature Monarchs from dozens of eggs laid over the last five months.

    #22348

    mlusk
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: Gomphocarpus, 2 large, many small
    Community/suburb:Havelock Nth
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: wetter spring and early summer than usual, but a fairly typical summer now-warm and dry
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:only 2or 3 in the last 4 weeks
    Larvae/pupae observed:a couple of very small caterpillars on 26/12
    Eggs observed:very few
    Praying mantises:only occasional juveniles
    Aphids:none
    Ladybirds:none
    Bees:plenty
    Wasps:no Polistes sp or Vespula sp in our home garden, few Polistes sp elsewhere
    Ants:none near swan plants, plenty around the house
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:plants are very vigorous, just starting to flower.
    Any other comments:agree the monarch action seems pretty slow. I saw no overwintering colonies in the 2 spots I’ve seen them previously in Hastings.

    There are plenty of Red Admirals around and a few yellows, common blues and coppers in the last week or so.

    Not many white butterflies around here yet even in the riverbeds where there are acres of brassica weeds.

    I don’t know if it’s workable but perhaps a reporting box to record occasions when butterflies might have been expected but were not seen would be valuable. Sometimes what isn’t seen is just as significant as what is.

    #22343

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Number/species of milkweed plants:
    Community/suburb:
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe:
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed:
    Larvae/pupae observed:
    Eggs observed:
    Praying mantises:
    Aphids:
    Ladybirds:
    Bees:
    Wasps:
    Ants:
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed:
    Any other comments:

Viewing 17 replies - 26 through 42 (of 42 total)

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