zoe9

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  • in reply to: egg laying, August 14 #28208

    zoe9
    Participant

    I’m in Auckland too and this is the first year where there hasn’t been a break at all. I’ve had caterpillars on my plants the entire winter, along with butterflies emerging.

    Very different from 20 years ago when I was a kid. I remember there was a distinct season then – we’d have the last caterpillars in March, and wouldn’t see them again till around September. Times have certainly changed.

    in reply to: Where are the Monarchs? #22868

    zoe9
    Participant

    " Is there an upper limit to the size of caterpillar a wasp can take on?"

    Not in my experience. The smaller ones are easier to take back to the nest, but if you have protein eating wasps hanging about I don't believe any caterpillar is safe, including those hanging in a J.

    in reply to: butterfly with partially translucent wings #22861

    zoe9
    Participant

    Thanks Swansong. Her wings were a little crinkly where there was no pigment. They sort of had a cling film look to them. Reminded me of a piece of glad wrap.

    Unfortunately though I haven't seen her again since she was released which is a bit disappointing.

    in reply to: extra "tentacle" #22860

    zoe9
    Participant

    In case anyone is interested extra tentacle caterpillar hatched this morning and is a perfectly normal looking female. No strange extra bits to be seen!

    in reply to: butterfly with partially translucent wings #22807

    zoe9
    Participant

    Oh thanks Swansong. Meanwhile she flew off this morning, although she didn't get very far (last spotted in the fig tree!)

    It'll be interesting to see if she hangs about and returns to lay eggs as she's so easily identifiable.

    in reply to: Mouldy Chrysalis ? #22786

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi Mary and dark spots on the chrysalis makes me think of OE. (Unfortunately I've had a few affected this season too.)

    More information can be found here.

    http://www.monarchparasites.org/

    Hope this helps until someone more experienced can chime in.

    in reply to: extra "tentacle" #22524

    zoe9
    Participant

    Aww thanks guys for not making (too much) fun of him with his extra bits. Meanwhile I put him in the enclosure with my fatties two days ago and only just located him again now (you know how it is – they all look the same!)

    Anyway he's currently in his J so I can keep an eye on his progress. Funny thing, while I was trying to find him amongst the crowd I noticed so many irregularities with the other caterpillars – some only had half tentacles here or there, some had very short back ones etc, yet they all end up as your standard butterfly, so I'm not really expecting anything different from this guy. Time will tell though.

    Meanwhile thanks Jacqui for posting the pics.

    in reply to: extra "tentacle" #22507

    zoe9
    Participant

    Oh grand, thanks for that Jacqui.

    As for the caterpillar it's definitely a monarch, however the location of the tentacle on the body is the same as in those photos. It's not quite as long though (I was mistaken about that originally.)

    Meanwhile the caterpillar isn't isolated but he is contained so if he does successfully make it to the butterfly stage, and if there is anything different about his appearance, I should spot it when he's released.

    in reply to: extra "tentacle" #22501

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    Just wondering if those photos were ever received.

    Let me know!

    Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: Help Please…….LOTS of caterpillars! #22485

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi again Bec. You can email me at zoe2907@gmail.com

    My offer still stands and I'm more than happy to take as many caterpillars as needed, however I am on the North Shore (Devonport).

    If that's not convenient you may be able to find other members who are closer who can also help.

    Anyway let me know. I work from home so anytime for a drop off would be fine!

    in reply to: Survey – just the basics please! #22479

    zoe9
    Participant

    Number/species of milkweed plants: mixed (white and red flowers, thin and wide leaves), approx 30
    Community/suburb: Devonport, North Shore, Auckland
    Have you had typical summer weather or describe: Very rainy Oct/Nov, summer typical.
    Adult Monarchs (e.g. butterflies) seen around milkweed: up to 5 or 6 at a time, several resident
    Larvae/pupae observed: many
    Eggs observed: many
    Praying mantises: lots of baby green ones, few brown
    Aphids: earlier in the season only
    Ladybirds: many of different varieties
    Bees: many
    Wasps: not many at all (unusual)
    Ants: many
    Other pests seen affecting Monarchs/milkweed: no
    Any other comments: Unusual season. Started very early (eggs in September) with the wasps keeping a very low profile. Wasp casualties at an all time low.

    in reply to: extra "tentacle" #22476

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi again – have just sent through a few photos to the above address.

    Let me know if any problems receiving them.

    in reply to: extra "tentacle" #22474

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi Swansong – haven't spoken to you for ages.

    Hope all is going well ๐Ÿ™‚

    Meanwhile yes, we took some pics. I don't have a photo sharing site to link to so will email them. Is photos@monarch.org.nz still the best address?

    in reply to: Help Please…….LOTS of caterpillars! #22467

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi Bec and good for you.

    I did the same thing at Mitre 10 last weekend. They had dozens of young plants covered in caterpillars, some huge and starting to wander off to make their chrysalis, and I couldn't leave them there either. So I purchased one token plant and starting removing all the caterpillars I could see. I actually removed leaves (or parts of) to get very small ones, or ones who'd "fastened" themselves to the leaf to shed their skin. I was there for ages and an employee spotted me and came over so I was able to express my concern and point out that selling these plants with caterpillars on is a bad idea because at that size the plants can't even sustain one caterpillar. I also said if they were going to keep the plants uncovered someone should squash the eggs each day.

    It was futile though. Caterpillars on the plants catch people's eyes and help the sale. Plus I don't think the staff are particularly concerned about the welfare of any caterpillars.

    As it turns out we were back the following day (had to return a purchase) so I went prepared with a container to collect any I'd missed. I did comment to my husband that I hoped they didn't think I was stealing, but as he pointed out, they weren't selling the caterpillars!

    Anyway I must have saved about 50 all up.

    Meanwhile if you're in Auckland I have plenty of plants and am more than happy to take any extra caterpillars you may have.
    Cheers.

    in reply to: Green Caterpillars on swan plants #22366

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hi Bruce.

    If they look like the caterpillars in these pictures (posted by robapon) I have them too and they’re super destructive. They particularly enjoy destroying the flowers.

    http://robertaw.orconhosting.net.nz/monarch/unknown1.jpg
    http://robertaw.orconhosting.net.nz/monarch/unknown2.jpg

    By the way Rob – I’m still waiting for you to ID these pesky little guys. It’s been 10 months already. Chop chop!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: Unidentified insect #22049

    zoe9
    Participant

    I see it. It’s in the ‘about us’ drop down menu, then ‘our website and photographs’, then hit the purple link.

    Hope that helps. (I’ve no idea what the insect is though!)

    in reply to: Doin’ the Santa Sack #21996

    zoe9
    Participant

    I lose ‘santa sack’ caterpillars every season. Not a huge number, but it’s definitely something I’m familiar with.

    I don’t know what causes their skin to stretch like that so they end up all bunched up but once it starts, in my experience, there’s no hope they’ll become a chrysalis ๐Ÿ™

    in reply to: who can help me identify a caterpillar ….? #21892

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hey everybody – thank you so much for the replies and photos, it’s definitely the magpie moth caterpillar (best likeness is Swansong’s photo.)

    As for the ‘eating thistle’ bit throwing some of you off – yeah, oops, that was me being a plant ignoramus. I think they are on a ragwort, I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. It looks like the plant with the thistle fairies, the white poofy heads you’d pick as kids and try and blow around the garden and I just assumed because of the thistle fairies that it was a thistle…. (if there was an embarrassed face icon I’d attach it here!)

    Also Char I did notice yesterday how fast they are. They’re quite the little speedsters compared to the monarch pillars.

    Hope everyone is well, and thank you again for the wonderful assistance.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: who can help me identify a caterpillar ….? #21879

    zoe9
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui, I googled the Cinnabar moth but that’s not it because the stripes on my guys don’t go around the body. Rather they run down the length of it.

    This may be it if these Magpie Moths are common in Auckland (am on the North Shore.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magpie_moth

    I’ve never seen one before though.

    Edited to add – Blutterfly I only saw your post after I posted mine. I think you may be right though! Thanks for that ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: Mrs Monarch is back!! #21652

    zoe9
    Participant

    I’m in Auckland and also have newly laid eggs. Unfortunately though the wasps are also back.

    Yesterday was mild and sunny and when I went to check the post I was surprised and dismayed to see a half dozen paper wasps hovering around my plants, both the black & yellow and reddish/brown types.

    Quite unusual for so many to suddenly appear. If I didn’t know better I’d think they planned their simultaneous appearance for maximum impact. I normally don’t see them till later in September so this was an unwelcome sight and I will be moving the eggs undercover today just in case…..

    in reply to: Flawed Monarch pupae #20526

    zoe9
    Participant

    That’s a really interesting link Jacqui – thanks so much for posting.

    I’m curious about the split proboscis though and at what point a split will render it completely useless. It’s been a while, but I am pretty sure I have fed butterflies in the past with a partially split proboscis, and judging by the way they’d wave it about in the liquid it certainly looked like they were feeding.

    Does anyone know?

    in reply to: 2008-9 Monarch Population Survey – please be brief! #20415

    zoe9
    Participant

    a) Devonport, Auckland

    b) 3 years

    c) less

    d) no media please

    in reply to: Hi from Swansong #19828

    zoe9
    Participant

    Hey Swansong! Lovely to see you again although I am sorry to hear what you’ve been going through recently. Thank goodness you’re alright. What would the butterflies (and the forum!) do without you.
    All the best,
    Zoe ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: Have milkweed… will travel #19750

    zoe9
    Participant

    Super work Jacqui. I’ve also pulled rogue plants out by their roots and brought them home, pillars and all, although to be fair my efforts aren’t quite as impressive as yours as I was always close to home at the time and not on a road trip.

    Meanwhile I hope the plant and lucky little pillars survive the trip home.

    in reply to: Doe’s Thi’s Get Quote’d Right? #19749

    zoe9
    Participant

    Oh yay, those pesky slashes masquerading as apostrophes are gone.
    Nice work!

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 163 total)