Introduction || How to raise butterfly

How to Raise Butterfly

How to raise butterfly. Unlike beginners, the serious collectors rarely catch butterflies with a lift net. Butterflies are collected in wild environment only when there is no possibility to raise them or when nobody saw them yet. More experienced collectors and scientists try to raise butterflies from caterpillar or even from ova. The perfect specimen can be obtained only with the indicated method. Additionally, it is useful for an observation of insect development. Raising caterpillars collected in wild environment, scientists may frequently discover flies and wasps which are parasitizing on the caterpillars of that butterfly species. Therefore, even if a caterpillar successfully pupated, you could get some tens of flies or wasps instead of butterfly. How to feed? Where to raise? How not to spoil butterfly appearing from pupa?


Photo 1.

Look for Butterfly Ova

Experienced expert also has difficulties in looking for the butterfly ova. As a rule, the butterfly ovum is very small size, and if they are not in a group (see photo 1), it is almost impossible to find them. Photo 2 is the shot ovum of a cabbage white butterfly, when the butterfly touched the cabbage leaf and laid it. If you did not see this moment, it is very difficult to look for this ovum, because its size is less than 1 mm.

Obtained ova should place in the glass jar with wide neck. The jar size depends on the object size. If you take a relatively big jar, you can not find small caterpillars burst from ova (see photo 3). Instead of tight cover, take cloth which allows air ventilation, but detains caterpillars. The cloth can be fixed with elastic band or cord. Now, watch. If the ovum was laid today, small caterpillars may burst in 4-5 days. As soon as caterpillars appear, feed them with small pieces of leaves of plant from what you found the ova. It is unlikely that butterfly does not lay ova on plants which are not suitable for feeding its brood.


Photo 2.

Photo 3.

Look for Caterpillars

You, most likely, will find big caterpillars grown and well visible.

Place found caterpillars in glass jars bigger than jars for ova. Cover must be also cloth. Caterpillars and feed (leaves of plant from which you collected caterpillars) exhale much water. Therefore, caterpillars will perish without ventilation. After that, you need to watch caterpillars every day, to remove the feed remainders and excrements, and to add new feed. If small caterpillars grew up to such the size that they began to disturb each other, separate them in additional jars.

If you look at the jar and find caterpillar number less than you put before or even there is nothing, check agglutinated leaves, caterpillars might spin cocoon inside these leaves. Do not wonder, your object does not die, caterpillars may be inside cocoon during some days.


Photo 4.

Photo 5.

Butterfly pupa (photo 4) is relatively immovable, it may twitch when it is touched.

Look for Butterfly Pupa

Butterfly pupae can be found in environment. If you dig ground in garden especially in spring, you have a chance to get pupae (photo 5).

If you get pupae from caterpillars in the late of autumn or find pupae right before winter, you need implement artificial cooling of pupae in a refrigerator during some days (but not in freezer compartment). Without cooling pupae, they can stop their development and die.

Trap 1 for Beginner

Look at the right photo. What are pretty yellow "caterpillars"? Why the word is in quotes? These are not caterpillars! Examine the photos, real caterpillars have three pairs of first legs, one pair of legs at the end of abdomen, and between these legs there are other pairs of legs from one (geometrids) to four (other). Now, count how many pairs of legs do the yellow "caterpillars" have? I counted six pairs. These are larvae of hymenopteran similar to wasp, but not to butterfly.

Trap 2 for Beginner

Put sticks in jars where pupae are. The sticks allow young butterfly coming out of pupa to climb above the jar bottom. Butterfly gets off pupa with undeveloped wings, it needs to be above the bottom in order to stretch wings. Otherwise, the wings would be left undeveloped.

When you have a wintry greenhouse, in which you can cultivate various plants, there is possibility to raise butterflies in winter. Caterpillars of peacock butterfly ( Nimphalis io L.), beautiful butterfly in the South Urals, are living on nettle leaves, and they even winter. Other big and beautiful butterfly of the South Urals Ц European swallowtail - (Papilio machaon L.) lives on Umbelliferae (Compositae): dill, carrot leaves, etc.

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