Terry

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  • in reply to: Butterfly food #61616

    Terry
    Participant

    Yes! I notice that most shop brought Honey in the UK is a blend of honey from China. Obviously there is UK only honey but they are normally very expensive. Thinking about what these scientists have suggested I do conclude they are not thinking straight, as the point I made is valid, and stopping/suggesting butterfly enthusiast from using honey is another pointless exercise to stop a disease which is already widespread! I have found most scientists, not all, sometimes make knee jerk statements without thinking things through! If there are any bee keepers out there reading this maybe they could elaborate on this disease to keep us better informed as to how it is spread and the various methods of transmission?

    in reply to: Butterfly food #61612

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui!

    Can I ask you how this scientist thinks using honey will spread this disease when it is already in the wild and bees and butterflies share many nectar sources? If a bee infected with this disease feeds at a flower a butterfly or other insect has fed on than surely they could both pick up the disease and spread it! In the UK I have watched Butterflies and bees jostling for position on flowers and coming into close contact, so either could move the disease around!

    in reply to: Setting up a Butterfly House #61393

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi There have you seen this document?

    https://www.nzbutterflies.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Yellow-Admiral-Breeding-Programme-at-2017.pdf

    Just adapt it to New Zealand’s weather conditions as I live in the UK where its a lot colder for longer in the winter.

    in reply to: Glasshouse ADVICE Please #60054

    Terry
    Participant

    See my “breeding Yellow Admiral” document from the UK! It covers the greenhouse set up although you will have to adapt its positioning when you set it up according to the different climatic conditions in NZ compared to the UK where I am, and of course the fact that you are in the southern hemisphere so it will heat up quicker in the summer months so maybe partial shade would be needed rather than full sunshine and plenty of ventilation.

    https://www.nzbutterflies.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Yellow-Admiral-Breeding-Programme-at-2017.pdf

    I have also used this Greenhouse for Monarchs overwintering them successfully in the butterfly stage.

    in reply to: Free Urtica urens starter plants to give away #59675

    Terry
    Participant

    The picture is of Urtica Dioica not Urtica Urens. Annual Nettle Urtica Urens looks nothing like those nettles in the container.

    in reply to: testing – time zones #58792

    Terry
    Participant

    What about the problem where my post is showing now when I am logged in but if I log out it is still not showing and its now 10:14 GMT?

    in reply to: testing – time zones #58790

    Terry
    Participant

    Another test as requested 08:16 GMT

    in reply to: testing – time zones #58783

    Terry
    Participant

    Same problem again at my end in the UK. Posted as you requested but as soon as I log out post disappears and as soon as I log in it reappears! Surely a post should be seen by all unless all posts are viewed by a moderator first as a rule.
    This post 06:36 GMT

    in reply to: testing – time zones #58782

    Terry
    Participant

    It’s 05:51 GMT Test from UK

    in reply to: testing – time zones #58779

    Terry
    Participant

    Checked post over 1 hour later still not showing on forum list unless I log in first and then still says sometime ago!

    in reply to: testing – time zones #58778

    Terry
    Participant

    It still says sometime ago for me at 08:53 GMT

    in reply to: Admiral question #58581

    Terry
    Participant

    Wellington, Very windy due to it’s position at the south of the north island! I had heard it was still a good source of U Ferox compared to other areas where it gets cleared due to its nasty sting! As I was saying in my previous reply the conditions in NZ are very different to the UK. In Wellington your longest day 21 December is 15.09 hrs and the shortest 21 June 9.11 hrs. Where I am in South East England the Longest day 21 June is 16.35 hrs and shortest 21 December is only 7.52 hrs hence the extra struggle to keep Yellow Admirals through the winter period. Our weather can get hotter in the summer than where you are, but the winters are much colder. I visited New Zealand back in the early 1990s in January and was surprised that it was dark so early in mid summer as I was used to it still being light an hour later midsummer in the UK.

    in reply to: Admiral question #58579

    Terry
    Participant

    The eggs and larvae just take longer to develop if laid on nettles followed by cooler weather conditions. Obviously those laid on nettles in a spot where the sun gets at them for longer periods of the day will speed development. Digging up the plants and placing them anywhere warmer will have the same effect.

    In NZ conditions are different from the UK and our winter period is longer and much colder than yours with shorter winter days due to latitude, hemisphere, etc (see comparisons on the time and date website for precise details), so there will be variations in development for many differing reasons.

    If we compare your Red Admiral with ours there are some major differences. Our Red Admiral, V atalanta has habits more akin to the Yellow Admiral in that it is a butterfly of more open sunny habitats (and it migrates) whereas your Red Admiral V gonerilla is more often found in forested areas and its favorite food plant U ferox is often found (but not always) with some tree cover. I do realize both Yellow and Red Admirals can often be seen together but there are nonetheless differences. As for egg survival in the shade, well in summer no problem, but in the winter frost penetration can kill the eggs but very small larvae will make a tent and because they are (in a manner) undercover they can survive harder frosts. Low temperatures for long periods can also be a factor in losses. One sharp frost may see the small larvae survive but a long period of frosts with no daytime thaw could see a higher rate of losses.

    In the UK Yellow Admirals would never make it through the winter in the wild, the days are too short and the temperatures much lower for long periods of time. The odd v atalanta larvae and butterfly make it through a mild UK winter in warmer spots and along coastlines where frost does not penetrate but we rely on migrations from southern Europe and North Africa each year for the main crop!

    Out of interest which part of New Zealand do you live in?

    in reply to: Admiral question #58568

    Terry
    Participant

    They do naturally differ in colour however you may have some Yellow Admiral larvae mixed in with your Reds. That said, with both species in NZ and including our Red Admiral vanessa atalanta in the UK, the colours can develop depending on light levels at the location of the foodplant. Looking for v atalanta tents on nettles in the summer in the UK will show greenish light versions in nettle patches in bright sunlight and darker colours in nettle patches in more semi shaded areas. (v atalanta doesn’t oviposit on nettles in shade unless they receive long periods of sunshine during daylight hours). Hence no butterfly breeder worth his salt would bother looking for v atalanta larvae in dark woodland nettle patches. As for my captive Yellow Admirals the larvae I produce indoors from collected eggs are all dark shades and those (in high summer only) left in the butterfly house can be of the grey to green variety but the darker colours tend to dominate!

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #58234

    Terry
    Participant

    Yes your description is urtica urens! I know they are more common in NZ than urtica dioica. I have noticed that if I plant an u urens in amongst my u dioica the Yellow Admiral females plaster it with twice as many eggs as the latter. It must be an genetically inherited memory thing. The original stock came from NZ (I was told) so u urens would have been the main foodplant.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #58222

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Leslie,

    I use perennial Nettle urtica dioica as it is the most common nettle in the UK. In fact if you visited the UK you would probably be amazed at how common it is. Its very persistent and can be grown from root division and cuttings and seeds very easily. Its found in gardens, fields, river banks, and roadsides, even quite close the sea line and everywhere except at the highest elevations. I always like to have a good laugh at the fuss New Zealand farmers make about preventing the spread of this nettle over there. In the UK it can take over huge patches in fields if they are left fallow for a few years. However, as they are fantastic nitrogen fixers when these fields are finally plowed and planted the resulting crops are better so like any plant farmers don’t like it can be turned to your advantage if you know how.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #58208

    Terry
    Participant

    Update as requested! The project is still running. I have about 100 Yellow Admirals in the butterfly house as of today. This winter has been exceptionally mild which has helped when finding small nettles to feed the larvae. As the days are now getting longer in the Northern Hemisphere, I am hopeful that I will be completing year 23 of the project. In the UK we sometimes suffer from an early spring followed by a (beast from the east) cold blast of weather from Siberia across Europe before spring proper kicks in. So dependent on weather things as I stated have gone quite easy this winter. The wilt disease is still a problem but for every 2 or 3 batches that perish 1 will make it through mainly due to sterilization of the eggs keeping the disease under some control.

    in reply to: Newly eclosed butterfly is shivering #57980

    Terry
    Participant

    Butterflies wing shiver is a method (insects being cold blooded) that is used to increase metabolic rate within the wing muscles. This increases temperature to a degree needed for a quick flight should danger approach.
    My captive Yellow Admirals do this as the sun starts to warm the butterfly house in the mornings or after overcast periods of weather and it gives them the extra strength needed to quickly enter flight.
    I have witnessed this wing shiver in bumblebees flying in very early spring before any other insects could cope with flight. They are well noted for flying in conditions at or below 10c

    in reply to: The Secret Message Carried by the Monarch Butterfly #57939

    Terry
    Participant

    No need to think out of any box! All Monarchs from USA/Canada do not end up in the same forest. There are always a few flying at lower elevations in Mexico and still breeding. Its all part of a survival strategy and in other parts of the world where Monarchs have spread they will be found in either large clusters for the winter or smaller clusters spread out over a wide area. They cluster to keep warm and for protection in foul weather and those in the center will have a better chance of survival in case of an unexpected cold snap. It is well known that on unusually warm winter days Monarchs will disassemble from there chosen tree and fly to nearby flowers to nectar. The short day-length triggers them to head for warmer climes and they stop reproduction. there is a crossover point between day-length and temperature whereby the Monarch will become sexually active again. I have kept Monarchs in captivity in the UK and overwintered them in a butterfly house and there was no attempt to head south as the winter moved in. They just stopped breeding and would all cluster together in a lemon tree I had at the north east end. When the temperature in the spring reached a crossover point they just started breeding again. They would always come down and feed on winter days when it was sunny enough but only when temperature and daylight crossover point was reached would they start breeding again. My captive Yellow Admirals vanessa itea show traits of genetic memory, having been bred for 22 years in the same environment from the same genetic line, they have adapted to recognizing the artificial feeding stations as a source of nectar. If I walk into the butterfly house with the colored sponges that absorb the nectar when placed in the feeding stations they will even fly down to my hand where I am holding them thinking they can get nectar before I have even soaked them, so no smell involved in detection just visual memory that these blue sponges mean a nectar source. All species adapt to survive and do so in a variety of ways. The most adaptable survive the best. In Mexico when catastrophe occurs and millions of Monarchs die due to cold winter snaps and loss of forest due to mankind’s activities those monarchs in the lowlands and survivors from the roosting trees will just take longer to build up numbers on the way North in the spring, however the main reason for low numbers are due to the food-plants being destroyed by human activity such as agricultural activity and other human developments.

    in reply to: Harlequin ladybird pupae #57928

    Terry
    Participant

    The Harlequin ladybird invaded the UK from Europe where it had been used in Greenhouses as a pest control method and escaped. We had warnings of doom and gloom from so called experts that they would wipe out our native species but many years on and I can still find both in good numbers in my local area. I collect either species each spring when they come out of hibernation to control aphid in my Butterfly House. The Harlequins are a little more voracious in there choice of food and will also eat some of the Butterfly eggs but do a quicker job eating the aphid. And when they have cleared them up They get released back outside No doubt in New Zealand they will want you to try and eradicate them if your identification is correct which you will need to do if ordered but don’t panic like we did to start with. Harlequins are now well established here and I can’t see any serious problems with them.

    in reply to: Admirals in Northland #57911

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Norm,

    Thanks for the reply! Does this honeysuckle grow at higher elevations in New Zealand or is it just invasive at lower elevations. The reason I ask this is that it has been noted that the wasps tend to be more prevalent at lower elevations and so if the plant is a pest higher up, maybe this would be a good place to release the Butterflies. Its just a long shot thought that entered my thinking remembering how the Forest Ringlet appears to be safer from wasps at these higher elevations.

    in reply to: Admirals in Northland #57882

    Terry
    Participant

    How widespread are the Honshu White Admirals now compared to there original introduction/release sites?

    in reply to: Admirals in Northland #57839

    Terry
    Participant

    I have tried to bring through larvae of Vanessa itea on pellitory, Parietaria officinalis and Parietaria judaica in the UK but although the Females lay eggs on it and the small larvae will eat it, after a few instars the larvae will either die or look for nettle to eat. Baby’s tears (Soleirolia) is also closely related but I have never tried to feed larvae on it. I would expect to have the same result as with pellitory. It is noted that in Australia Vanessa itea larvae have been found on pellitory, Parietaria judaica and Parietaria debilis so either they can get through in the higher temperatures in Australia on these plants or maybe there is a subspecies of vanessa itea in the hotter parts of Australia. The European Red Admiral vanessa atalanta larvae thrive on pellitory, Parietaria species, and in North Africa and southern Europe where nettles don’t grow or are rare it is its main foodplant.

    in reply to: Admirals in Northland #57826

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi, Jacqui and all on this thread!
    My project will reach 23 years if I can get the Yellow Admirals through another cold English winter. I am not the best person to comment on nettles in New Zealand and where to find them. Norm Twigge who actually lives there like you is better qualified. I noticed many years ago on my trip to New Zealand how difficult it is to find quantities of any nettles unlike in the UK where they are abundant. I find that the Perennial Nettle urtica dioica works best for me but then that is the dominant species. The Small Nettle urtica urens can be found where I live but it is harder to grow and thus I use it less. I have bred the New Zealand Red Admiral in captivity in the past and they would lay eggs on urtica urens but mostly preferred urtica dioica. I know that in New Zealand for some strange reason the latter is declared a pest species and can be illegal to grow but in my humble opinion this is ridiculous as it is common here in the UK but is not a problem to our farmers and is easily sprayed off. If Red Admirals are scarcer in the north of New Zealand it would be due to lack of available nettles above all other factors.

    in reply to: Amazing caterpillar #57534

    Terry
    Participant

    These moths are very popular with breeders who keep them in captivity. The pheromones from the females are so powerful that a female placed out in a cage on their habitat will attract many males to the cage from long distances so it is always quite easy to gain new blood to introduce to the captive stock.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 1,287 total)