Te Puna Butterfly Garden

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  • #46166


    The butterfly garden at Te Puna, Tauranga, is now humming. The monarch butterfly population, which was slow to get underway because of the cold start to the season, is now in full swing. Eggs and caterpillars that are located on the hundreds of milkweed plants growing in the gardens, are transferred into the butterfly house to continue their cycle without the problem of paper wasps and other predators. When the butterflies emerge from the chrysalis they are released back into the garden to mate and continue the routine again.
    Breeding of both Red and Yellow admirals is in full swing, with the emerging butterflies being released into the butterfly house, creating further interest to visitors in the park. Once mated, the admirals lay eggs on the potted nettles, and the butterflies then released into the garden.
    A new large cage over a muehlenbeckia bush has seen contained Copper butterflies laying eggs, and a recently caught Magpie moth has produced 120 eggs. With no shortage of ragwort in the area, Cinnabar moth caterpillars were introduced into the butterfly house, and we have several hundred caterpillars in various stages of growth feeding on a never ending supply of ragwort.
    An exciting event was the capture of a female Painted Lady butterfly a few days ago, so the season is looking to be full on for Mary, myself and the volunteers.

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  • #46191


    Host plants are Cudweeds, which she was ovipositing on when caught. Past rearing of Painted Ladies has used Helichrysum, Capeweed, Paper daisy and Cudweeds all successfully.



    Fantastic to hear, Norm!

    Te Puna Quarry Park is just north-west of Tauranga on SH2, well worth a visit. Entry is by gold coin donation.

    There have been several reports of painted ladies around the countryside this season. What are you using as a host plant, Norm?

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