Butterfly ShopButterfly Shop

The Ideal Recycled Butterfly Rearing Chamber

Do you have caterpillars that you want to raise with live plants? This can be a tricky endeavor because you want to be able to water the plant regularly, and you don't want the little critters to escape your container. Well, we have a very inexpensive solution - the recycled butterfly rearing chamber!

SOFT DRINK BOTTLE
Any soft drink bottle will serve our purpose. Clear is best, 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.

PLASTIC CONTAINER
Next you'll need a small plastic tub container. For the perfect size, try "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" containers. 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.

NETTING
Place a small piece of netting or tulle on top of the bottle opening, using a rubber band to hold it in place.

SPECIAL NOTES
Do not place this chamber in direct sunlight! Any condensation in the chamber will cause many problems. Very young larvae could easily drown in a tiny 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 on the opening versus the actual bottle cap should eliminate this condition but check daily to be sure.

Thanks to Rick Mikula, The Butterfly Guy, for this great information!

Butterfly Rearing Chamber