Saturday, September 8, 2018

Raising Butterflies

It all started August 18th when I went out to Barson's Greenhouse in Westland to get a couple of Milkweed plants for next year and a couple of Rue plants.  I had been trying to grow milkweed for the past three years with no luck.  I checked the plants out very carefully to make sure I wasn't bringing anyone home with me but alas at the very bottom of one of the plants was a Monarch caterpillar, skinny and about an inch long.

It was amazing to me how fast he grew from one inch to almost three inches.  I went out and bought a 12 by 12 square butterfly habitat to keep it in.  And so it began. 

While walking around the yard one morning I was looking at all the plants especially the Milkweed and the Rue to make sure there was nothing on the plants and to my surprise I found three eggs on the Rue.  Rue is a host plant for the Black Swallowtail.  I also found  a Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the plant.  So I went and got another 12 x 12 square butterfly habitat for the caterpillar and created a nursery for the eggs until they were ready to be moved.

I have collected eggs and have watched the caterpillars grow.  I watched a Monarch Caterpillar transform into a chrysalis.  I have released one Monarch and one Black Swallowtail to date.  I have two Monarch chrysalis' one being five days old the other one.  I have a caterpillar that will transform into a chrysalis tonight.  I have eight Black Swallowtails ranging 9 - 11 days old.  Possibly half of them will transform into a chrysalis next week.

Six of eight Black-Swallowtail caterpillars showing

Praying that all eight Black Swallowtails and the three Monarchs survive to be beautiful butterflies.

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