Two days ago four Monarchs emerged from their chrysalis's - three females, one male.
We are now verging on Winter in New Zealand, so it's very late in the season for new butterflies.
In our cooler temperatures I have noticed how much slower all their processes are.
These four averaged 17 days each, in the chrysalis, whereas in Summer it would have been 9 or 10 days. Having said that, once out of the chrysalis the butterflies did seem quite perky.
The first two out were females, then about an hour later the male and the other female.
Once the wings of the first two had dried and they were becoming more active, one made a rush for the other and they began fighting. Wings wide and legs flailing, they reminded me of two tiny boxers going for it. I've seen butterflies do this before and they do fight quite hard.
It was too late in the day to send them off to their butterfly lives, so I separated them and set them in a dark room overnight to calm them down.
Meanwhile the other two butterflies safely emerged from their chrysalis's and all was well.
Next morning I set the four butterflies outside in the sun to warm up in order to fly. The trouble was, once they were warming, one of the females immediately started fighting with one of the other females again. This time I set the more aggressive butterfly out onto a different plant, away from the others until it was ready to fly.
They all eventually flew well and off they went.
Can't say I ever thought that I would have to separate fighting butterflies.
Dogs, yes. Cats, yes. But butterflies?
There you have it - now you know fighting butterflies are a thing 🦋