Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update?

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  • #14476

    Jane
    Participant

    Hey Terry,

    How did your admiral project get through? I remember at one stage you Admirals were looking like they might not make it through, and seeing your name in the forum has made me wonder how you got on………I think you were down to a last few at one point…..any chance of an update?

    Regards and best wishes – Jane

Viewing 10 replies - 976 through 985 (of 985 total)
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  • #25411

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Terry

    We get quite a few people experiencing that here too. It’s a case of “duh” when they realise. Makes you wonder what these chemicals are doing to us, doesn’t it?

    I’m sure Jane won’t have experienced that problem – she is fastidious, very careful. Very green – in the nicest sense of the word!

    Jacqui

    #25407

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Jane

    It does sound like the same thing or a similar disease, However one small question I need to ask, do you use any insecticides in the house, if the larvae were kept indoors especially the type of insecticide you hang from the ceiling to keep fly?s under control as most of these contain chemicals that cause similar symptoms. A few Butterfly breeders in the UK have lost stock this way, normally because another family member has placed one in the house not realizing it will kill butterflies and moths as well. The same goes for Moth balls that people place in wardrobes and drawers to kill insects that attack clothes. These chemicals can have an effect from a fair distance on your caged larvae.

    #25400

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Terry,

    Sorry to hear of your disaster with the larvae. It made me think maybe I have had the same thing here recently – I wasn’t sure what was wrong. Some of the admiral caterpillars given to me were at the full grown stage and looking great. Three had made pupae and the others appeared not to have moved for a day or two so I took a closer look and they had liquidised on the spot into a mush. I wasn’t sure what had happened to them. The three pupae still haven’t hatched out 🙁
    Sounds like the same thing.

    Jane

    #25396

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    You got it right first time! As the saying goes “one door closes another opens” I havn’t given up yet though! I am just preparing for what one day I suppose would be inevitable! I am sorry your computer got stolen, and there was I thinking NZ was not as bad as the UK for crime. Was it a lap top? Or did your house get broken in to?

    #25394

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Oh Terry, I am so sad for you. Sorry to hear your news. But – as you say – I dread the day when my computer breaks down/gets stolen… fearing I may not have copies of everything, or backed everything up.

    And then when my computer WAS stolen, after that first shock and sickness of knowing what I’d lost, I realised how wonderful that I could embark on a “new enterprise” without feeling guilty. Do you know what I mean? Is it the same feeling?

    Jacqui

    #25393

    Terry
    Participant

    Well my worst nightmare arrived yesterday but only after I managed to get about 60 Pupae, The dreaded Viral/Bacterial disease struck again. Just before retiring to my bed last night I went to top up my Rearing boxes with fresh nettles only to find full grown Larvae collapsing and liquidizing on the sides and floor. It looks like the remaining ones will succumb as well, but any survivors will be good to breed from as they may eventually breed some resistance in to the stock, as long as the pupae are not infected as well. This is not going to help much over the colder months as I like to build up good numbers in case of a tragedy similar to this occurring. Although as I write this post the next morning I feel shattered and depressed by the discovery, I may now get that rest from the constant work involved in keeping this project going, if they don’t make it through the winter. One thing is for sure I will try to get them through this, but if they die out I will not be getting any fresh stock to replace them, it’s going to be one hell of a rest coming up!
    I will keep you all posted as to the outcome!

    Terry

    #25373

    Jane
    Participant

    Thanks for the update Terry. 13 years sure is a long time. What a brilliant job you have done.

    It would be a pity to give it up, but it does take an enormous commitment to keep everything going, and when you are the sort of person that is interested in life, life seems so short with so much still to do for sure.

    It is great to hear about your project – partly because you keep such careful records and stats, and always know how many you have. I admire that very much. (I have no idea how many caterpillars and butterflies I have in a season) Also a difficult project for such a cold climate – that takes extra dedication.

    I just had a thought that maybe you need to train someone up to take over, with you as a mentor!! You will be able to do some other stuff and the the butterflies will have attention still 🙂

    Great to hear from you again – cheers – Jane

    #25366

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    I suppose OCD does fit our obsession with Butterflies, just as you have stated. I am also obsessed with Jazz Funk and Soul music and known to my musical friends as DJTel, but thats another life, another story.

    #25365

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Terry

    Great to hear this, Terry. Thank you for the update.

    I hope you don’t discontinue – we’re learning so much from you.

    By the way, I think most of us around here are obsessive compulsive. 🙂

    #25364

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Jane

    I managed to get some ova from the few remaining B Itea imagines and sterilized them in Formaldehyde, from these I managed to get over 200 Larvae and now have approx 80 Iteas flying in the Butterfly house, from these I have managed to get approx 200+ larvae at second instar at the time of writing this post.

    It is in the latter stages that the Virus/Bacterial disease strikes so I am hoping that all will be well, I will know for sure within the next couple of weeks.

    The Gonerilla did not fair well, from the late summer brood I got approx 17 Imagines, had one pairing but the resulting ova were sterile. Another Butterfly breeder in the UK has done really well with Bassaris Gonerilla and has good numbers of small larvae he is overwintering outside sleeved on growing nettles, he lives in a warmer part of the UK where winter frosts are not so harsh, he only breeds B Gonerilla and not Itea, so does not have to have his breeding area set up for B Itea as I do.

    I am of the opinion that the reason I cannot keep Gonerilla breeding continuously is because they cannot compete with the Bassaris Itea who are dominant, the gonerilla have a small diapause in the winter months caused by short daylength and they overwinter better as 1st and 2nd instar larvae, the Iteas are continuosly brooded and as long as they are given sufficient heat will pair even on the shortest day of the year,and the larvae will feed up during the winter months if kept warm, the shortest day in the UK is far shorter than in NZ, also the conditions in my Butterfly house suit them better (in the summer Hot and Dry).

    B Gonerilla prefers a cooler more shaded environment.

    As I have managed to keep B Itea for 13 years from the same line I prioritise my set up to suit the conditions they prefer at the expense of other species.

    I must admit however, that I may need to end the experiment soon as it takes so much time and effort and I have other things I need to do in life. I never imagined when I started that it would work out as successful as it has, many people have suggested I am slightly or seriously crazy to have stuck at this for so long but I suppose it suits my Obsessive compulsive tendencies.

    all the best, Terry

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