Where are the Monarchs?

Tagged: ,

  • Creator
  • #41202


    Hi there, Ive a garden full of mature swan plants, but no caterpillars, and I’ve only seen two monarchs so far. Is it too early, or what? Where are the butterfly’s please?

Viewing 14 replies - 26 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Author
  • #41414


    I am situated in Pukete, Hamilton.
    This year there has been a huge influx of butterflies compared to other years, and it is one of the reasons I wanted to continue tagging, plus the fact I can NOW catch them, with the newly acquired butterfly net,instead of the occasional one that alighted the plants. I have prepared in advance this year and have healthy plants, but no cats, daughter has an abundance of them and has dropped some around as well as taking a container of them up to Jacqui before Xmas.
    All the cats I had have gone, as we were away overseas for a month, so none to release. But with all the activity there should be a few generated. I love the idea of tagging, but am never sure if what I am doing is correct when I hear of others JUST tagging over winter.
    Surely as much data collected as possible is good, or does it muck up the overall scheme of things?
    To my way of thinking, everyone who finds a tagged butterfly is a prospective tagger themselves and add to the pool. THAT’s how I got started, by seeing a tagged butterfly in the garden I was photographing and blew up the photo to see what was on the wing. Thanks for the contact Caryl, I am originally from Strathmore so know your area.



    Thomo I think it’s a good idea, the official system seeks to tag and find out about the wintering over generation. I’m thinking of tagging mine since I want to know whether monarchs have a memory and return to where they were born or do they hang around because there are so few swan plants in my suburb? I find it quite easy to catch the butterflies after March 1 with my hands. I have most of my chrysalises inside so it’s easy to tag them when their wings are dry and then I set them free. I am in Seatoun, Wellington, where are you?



    I have always had a problem with catching them for tagging purposes, would have to wait until they settled on a swan plant and if lucky pluck them while feeding.
    BUT, today I was in the local $2 shop and lo and behold they had Butterfly nets for $2, and they work well.
    But are we not meant to be tagging at present, I always believed a tagged butterfly is more helpful than untagged, and if people find them then it brings them into the throng as well. Am I wrong in doing this?



    Yesterday I noticed queen Chinese Paper wasps, seems they are so late in making nests, and were not aggressive, but cheers up… come in the autumntime, number of wasps will drop, and we will have much fewer wasps by springtime later this 2015.
    Wasps have next 4 good months, until frosts in May.
    Numbers of new queen wasps being born during this year autumn, will be half the two last years numbers, and if we have another cold winter this year, this will means very very few queen wasps by spring.
    We had cold wet spring and cold wet winter last year.



    Maybe all the Monarchs are at my place (Whakatane) LOL. Actually I had eggs in early November which resulted in 4 milkweed plants 1.5 m tall being stripped, no doubt due to the absence of Paper wasps. The second wave of caterpillars are now under way and the Paper wasps have just started to appear. If I were to take a net out into the back yard I could probably catch around 6 – 8 Monarchs in a half hour most days, particularly the sunny days. So while the Monarchs are short in some areas they are in reasonable numbers in other areas.



    One male Monarch butterfly came to my backyard (Thames) this morning.
    It fed from flowers of my lantanas.



    Hi Judy – can you please tell us the name of the “local nursery” so we can phone them and discuss it with them? All of the garden centres we’ve contacted so far have appreciated the advice we’ve been able to offer. Great to hear that things are going better for you now.

    Thomo – why are you trying to catch them? 🙂




    I am in Mapua and lost 150 caterpillars earlier in the season after I unwittingly purchased sprayed plants from our local nursery. I am thrilled to report now that I have just counted over 205 caterpillars, no wasps around this year either. My plants are all looking healthy and I have plenty of them with lots of seedlings that I am transplanting out in stages. Have monarchs flying around all day to the delight of my granddaughter and I



    There is an abundance of monarchs in Hamilton, most I have ever seen, I Just have trouble catching them .



    What area are you in tadhg?


    Black Robin

    I suppose I have been pretty lucky as at the moment I have 4 chrysalises and six cats of various sizes. I have been releasing eclosed monarchs no since 26th of November and so far 15 have gone with good results as now I am seeing 2 or three monarchs every day now. I have rescued most of these butterflies as eggs or small cats from my outside plants and kept them out of harms way in the glass house. I have 2 currasavica plants in full bloom and these seem to be attracting the monarchs to nectar and lay very well. I am in Tauranga.
    Black Robin.



    You’re more likely to see wasps than caterpillars on my swan plants. I brought in an egg and a first instar cat yesterday, but never see anything larger. The few butterflies we do see here have probably spent some time in my kitchen.



    Very enthusiastic Male Monarch wizzing around to ‘guard’ my big swan plant. Think I saw the female in the distance. Warmer weather is sure helping



    Whereabouts are you?

    I’m in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, and finally have eggs on my plants. No doubt quite a few eggs got washed off in yesterday’s downpour.

    There has been a discussion on this very topic (see further down the list) already. Apart from people in some communities, there is a shortage of Monarchs for sure this year. Put it down to the wasps affecting their numbers last summer and the horrible spring weather – one day it’s spring, the next it’s summer.

Viewing 14 replies - 26 through 39 (of 39 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.