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We have a butterfly garden in Western Victoria, Australia, which is open to the public from Nov-May. We breed temperate butterflies.
St Arnaud, Victoria, AustraliaSign In to follow
The correct host plant was available nearby, so don't know why they are laying on the wrong plant. Fortunately they're not classified as being at risk for the time being. The majority of egg clusters we've found have been laid on the correct plants.
We rear them on quandong, which is a very slow growing parasitic tree. We've just propagated some wire mistletoe which is much faster growing, to give the quandong a break. The wire mistletoe will take another year to grow adequately. The jezebel caterpillars are gregarious, so they feed in groups, taking turns to munch in groups at the end of the leaves. I'll upload a photo so you can see.
We have been rearing the Jezebels for a few years now, as they don't survive on the olive. They are released back into the garden, so they can finish their migration to the seaside for summer (lucky things...). We have talked to Australia's leading lepidopterists about this issue, but no-one has any answers.