Tagged butterfly on back lawn.

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  • #53210


    Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I were checking swan plants in garden for any new caterpillars. We discovered 8, so transferred them to plants in “castle” When walking back across lawn, my husband spotted a small , tagged butterfly on lawn. On picking it up, I found it was one I had tagged the previous day. We put it on a plastic chopping board under the potted Guava tree, with some impatients and carnation flowers, so it could get nectar. It seemed to favour left side slightly, but gave it a chance to rest and feed in safety. This morning it was dead. On reflection, maybe should have popped it in the freezer. It’s tag Number was RAE373. We also have a butterfly half out of crysalis, and is not moving any further.Don’t no if I should interfere with nature.

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  • #53215


    Thank you Leslie and Jacqui for your replies. Really appreciated getting them. Also the butterfly that had started to emerge, I found was rather deformed. It’s wings were barely one centimeter ‘square ‘. Had to dispose of it ,as it was dead.



    I had what I thought was a good butterfly die unexpectedly recently too. She did have one bung leg though so not perfect … but wings and energy levels seemed normal. I’m getting the usual batch of ‘stumpies’ hatching or dying before they emerge. Its the time of year I think. As Jacqui says the disease levels are up and also I think the short hours of daylight and colder days + the artificial environment a lot of us are trying to raise them in all play a part. I keep a spreadsheet of all my butterflys and anything that gets out of the chrysalid is documented. The success rate right now is a little higher than 50% and that’s down from over 95% earlier. Its right on track to be the same as last year. I expect a lot more chrysalids to not emerge at all. Helps me to keep things in perspective :). And I have two lovely boys outside conditioning for the cold at the moment 🙂



    Hello Gaynor

    It’s times like this that you need to reflect on the amount of time you do spend giving monarch butterflies a helpful hand in the world – and While you are sad for the few that don’t make it, it’s not necessarily anything you’re doing wrong.

    A female monarch will lay 300, 500 or maybe 1100 eggs – and only two are required to continue the species. So if you’re producing more than that you’re helping monarch numbers. We need to remember that death is just a part of life. In dying ‘prematurely’ a butterfly has more than likely been the victim of a disease or pathogens etc which is only here on this world to (for example) control monarch numbers so they don’t become a pest. It is a human foible that we see beauty in monarchs and put wasps, Oe etc on a list of bad things. We need to see the beauty in the whole natural world… the bigger picture… hard as it is to do.

    Keep up the good work, Gaynor!

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