Operation Monarch Rescue

We always seem to be in the Bay of Plenty during monarch butterfly caterpillar season. There were a couple about when we were up here in January and now, a couple of months later there’s more than ever. Only problem is they’ve eaten every swan plant in the garden and are beginning to crawl about all over the lawn across other plants in search of food. They’re in their scoffing phase (mind you, when is that not when it comes to insects?) and some of them are enormous and ready to hang to become a chrysalis.

Yesterday and today we’ve done a bit of an audit of caterpillars and found several chrysalises and managed to convince Father to get another swan plant for them to eat (basically a $12-bag of caterpillar food (he said) as they’ll probably strip it and kill it in a couple of days but just think of all the lovely orange butterflies (I said) that will hatch eventually … and lay more eggs than last year … more caterpillars than last year … ravaged swan plants will be in even shorter supply next year … and so the circle of life is complete!)

Have got some great photos during the audit and subsequent rescue effort!

Big juicy fella hanging yesterday at about 4pm

The same fella a chrysalis when we woke up this morning – I mean *how* did that happen? We even got to see his discarded skin on a leaf under the chrysalis.

The Mister gingerly picking them off the ruined plants …

… and coaxing them onto the new plant.


#1 The Mister on 03.09.08 at 8:16 pm

For the record I took those shots of the caterpillar and it’s chrysalis – it’s the first time I’ve taken nature shots and the bit that’s focussed is actually the right bit (and not some random leaf with caterpillar shit all over it).

#2 Monarch butterflies hatching — OrangeBlog on 02.13.11 at 9:31 pm

[…] It was great to see the other end of the munching caterpillar phase – and to know that operation monarch rescue a couple of years ago probably played a big […]

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