WASP and Yellow Admiral

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  • #48896


    While I was re-arranging my garden, I knocked a Yellow Admiral pupa and it broke.
    I had heard about wasp laying eggs in Vanessa spp pupa but words just don’t seen to convey to me the idea that this example shows.

    I have lots of Yellow Admiral Pupa scattered around my House and section here in Christchurch, so I am wondering at what point viable butterflies will emerge.
    Else – when viable WASPS will emerge!! uuugggh!!

    Please see here my web-page with images and a short video.

    http://www.genealogynz.info/wasp1/wasp1.html. .

    Cheers from Christchurch.
    Barry P.

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  • #48927


    Thanks for the info Barry and others. My admiral cats were lucky to escape that predator, partly because most of them were under mosquito nets & also because they have been raised over winter. Very few predators around. Some cats were in the garden until late autumn & I did find a newly hatched small wasp-like insect with red/orange legs inside the mosquito net. I squashed it immediately. There has only been the one thank goodness. I looked it up and it was Echthromorpha intricatoria. Hope I got the spelling right! I think I am correct in saying that they lay one egg per caterpillar. I have never noticed them in my garden before, but will be on the look-out for them now!



    The most humane way to dispose of any insect is the quickest way. My method is to place said insect on a flat surface and quickly bring another flat surface against it with force. Death is instantaneous. It may seem crude or cruel to some, but how can it be cruel if it is quick. I have never used the freezing method, as there is no proof the insect does not suffer, even briefly. However my method is possibly not for the faint hearted.



    For the pupa, maggots, caterpillars and captive insects, boiling water (vey hot out of tap) works well. Same as for garden weeds!!

    Would pyrethrum spays (Fly spay) be acceptable? Especially inside a butterfly castle or other limited volume? What is the hold back time on Fly spay?



    Oh that’s Nature, eh. Thank you Barry for recording these and sharing them with us. It might be as well to collect as many pupa as you can and hatch them separately. If a butterfly emerges – great. If parasitic wasps emerge, destroy them.

    Norm, you say not to dispose of them by freezing. What would be the best way of getting rid of them?




    In outdoor conditions the Yellow Admiral normally overwinters either as larvae or adult butterfly, rather than pupae. If the pupae are from autumn it is probable that they have fallen prey to the wasp Pteromalus puparum, which the photographs show. The grubs will overwinter in the host pupae, pupate in spring, and the adults will then chew a hole in the host pupal case to emerge, and immediately mate. Because the grubs overwinter in the pupae, they are known to withstand freezing temperatures for long periods, so when disposing of them do not use the option of freezing.



    Thanks Barry for sharing these photos – very sobering. I successfully raised about a dozen admirals earlier this year for the first time in the caterpillar castle, and hoped that the ones left on the nettles in the garden might be successful as well. Maybe there is very little hope that that was the case???

    Susan (Hibiscus Coast)

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