...Butterfly Farming Information

The Ideal Recycled Butterfly Rearing Chamber

Figure 1 - Any soft drink bottle will serve our purpose. Clear is fine, but colored containers will do just as well. First, remove the opaque bottom with a knife or scissors. The cut does not need to be perfectly straight. If the bottle does not have such a feature, cut at the point it begins to taper towards the bottom

Figure 2 - Various plastic tubs are suitable. However, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" containers are the best. In the center of the lid, make a hole large enough to accommodate the stem of a host plant. Fill the tub with water, and slip the base of the plant through the hole. The base of the plant's stem should be well below the water surface.

Figure 3 - With the host plant in position, place the caterpillar on the leaves. Cover with the top section of the soft drink bottle, making sure the outside wall of the bottle fits snugly inside the raised rim of the margarine (or whatever) container.


Note: if larvae are very small, the original top of the soft drink bottle may be used. Once the larvae begin to attain some size, the top may be discarded and replaced with a small piece of netting. Excess condensation will cause many problems. Very young larvae could easily drown in a minute droplet of water. As they become larger, respiration increases. If the resulting water combines with droppings, caterpillars may become ill by simple contact. Any condensation should be removed daily with a fresh, clean paper towel. The placement of netting should eliminate this condition.

DO NOT PLACE YOUR CHAMBER IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT

This contraption will also serve as an egg factory if a fertilized female is placed inside with the host plant. When the female is securely inside the bottle, cover the entire apparatus by placing a paper shopping bag over it. Allow 24 hours and then inspect the plant for eggs. Once eggs are laid, set the insect free. By changing sprigs of host plants as needed, caterpillars can stay inside until the chrysalis or cocoons are formed.

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Last Updated: Last Updated: Apr 17, 1997 butterfly@mgfx.com
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