Keeping an indoor caterpillar nursery

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jacqui 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #55846

    skifiend
    Participant

    Hi. After having no eggs, caterpillars and rarely seeing a butterfly all summer, I decided to start an indoor caterpillar nursery to save them from the wasps I have seen visiting the host plants. Immediately on seeing a butterfly laying I have snipped off the branch or branches and put it/them in water inside. My jar is wide-mouthed so I have inverted a water-filled glass inside (do it in cold water in kitchen sink)inside the water-filled jar. This allows me to wedge swan plant stems around the glass inside the jar, keeping them upright and filling in the expanse of water where small caterpillars can drown as well as maximising the number of leaves available for eating! I stand all this on an oven baking tray to collect the droppings! Water needs changing every two days and new branches added most days. I currently have 16 caterpillars 4 of which have pupated tonight, have had 1 big butterfly emerge (transferred outside once dried out) and one still in the chrysallis. As well I have planted (or transplanted when spotted under host plant) 20 swan plants ready to give away with caterpillars to children I tutor and to have a supply if needed! I hope my efforts will boost the local population. I am keen to tag the butterflies as they emerge. Jan S.

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  • #55894

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Great stuff, Jan!!!

    #55873

    FiLeBeau
    Participant

    This is wonderful! Awesome news re your successful eclosing!
    I use a similar method when required covering tops of jars with waxed paper over the top and small holes punched in for the stalks to prevent drownings and taped down sides. I used to use glad wrap with elastic bands around the rime to hold it secure – but we’re trying not to go there now 🙂
    Best wishes
    Fiona

    #55865

    Kiwilass
    Participant

    well done

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