Too many! Caterpillar foster parents needed!!! Dunedin

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  • #33279

    notsotypicalblonde
    Participant

    Now originally I had the opposite problem for all of the summer whereby I had lots of swan plants and no visiting monarchs to lay eggs BUT now after raising and releasing some I “fostered” I now have had monarchs visiting and laying eggs on the plants that I was planning to use as food for the pillars inside when their plants were stripped (about 60 caterpillars inside on six 1 metre high plants in small original plastic pots but that was a very quick count and could be many more as didn’t look for really small ones that are there)

    The problem is I do not have room to bring anymore caterpillars inside as  house is quite small BUT the biggest problem is that I do not know if they will survive outside now that it is already past summer and temperatures will drop here to very low temps at night quickly!

    I am happy to post these eggs to anyone further north who can “foster” them for me or if someone local in Dunedin can take some and raise them indoors or in a conservatory or something that would be good too (if its thought eggs laid now could survive down here???)

    Help please anyone, I don’t know what to do?!?  Even if its just to advise!

    Thanks so much
    Katrina

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  • #33627

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Wasps can be a problem.  I watched one do away with a caterpillar the other day.  Many people cover their plants, you may be able to find threads on that.  However there is always a bit of a loss, one frequent cause is falls!  You cant save every caterpillar!  If you have an idea of the number hatched you can monitor losses and then take steps if necessary.  I have bought about 30 inside as an insurance, but it is hard work keeping them supplied with food and keeping the mess cleared up.  The pillars get rather big and I doubt your window sill will cope!  Overcrowding also leads to disease.

    Later on I will bring some big plants inside for those pillars still munching away and for the large caterpillars and put water round them to stop them wandering.  Then I can keep track of the pupae. Since I will be tagging I want the pupae inside.

    I cant take any eggs from you I have had far too many laid myself

    #33566

    notsotypicalblonde
    Participant

    Ok, just wanted to update on this as I thought the eggs laid 12 days ago were not going to hatch but was suprised to see last night the first of the wee black heads on the eggs (meaning they would hatch soon).  This morning many more are also getting ready to hatch but its amazing how much longer the whole process takes down here where it is much colder! Will see how they get on, as still have plenty of plants for them but obviously will need to bring them in once they pupate.

    Katrina 🙂

    #33293

    notsotypicalblonde
    Participant

    Thanks so much Jennifer, for your message, I know it’s a gorgeous day today bout I just worry as you know how Dunedin weather changes, maybe I should puthers back outside too but do I have to worry a about wasps? I saw one flying round and freaked out that it would take my babies that’s why I bought them inside in the fist place but I don’t really have room for 60 pooping pillars inside but am making do on a window sill but not ideal 🙂

    #33283

    Jennifer
    Participant

    They will happily grow in Dunedin outside at the moment, fatten up nicely, it doesnt matter about the cool nights.  The problem comes when they pupate.  By May it is too cold for the monarch to  develop properly in its case.  Thats when they need to be broght inside.  So keep them outside.  Once they pupate it is easy to keep them inside, it doesnt need much space.   I can give advice about space saving storage systems for this and there are heaps of threads about it.

    And summer is not over!!!  I cant believe you wrote that when the temperature today is 23°!  Yesterday wasnt much cooler either!

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