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Raising Butterflies

Todd Stout shares his knowledge about raising butterflies.
To learn more, visit Todd's Raising Butterflies website.

How to know when a larva is ready to molt:

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More videos on Todd Stout's Raising Butterflies website:

Magdalena Alpine caterpillars If you're into raising dull satyrids in a potted plant for four months while they grow to full size, this video tutorial is for YOU!
Raising Garita Skipperlings Garita Skipperling caterpillars are known to wander quite a bit requiring this setup which keeps them confined.
Finding Yuma Skipper larval nests on Phragmites This brief video shows how to recognize rolled up tubed nests of Yuma Skipper late instar larvae and how to differentiate their chew marks and nests vs. those caused by grasshoppers and spiders.
Satyr Comma and Milbert's Tortoiseshell caterpillar hunting on stinging nettle! This video reviews the differing nests and larval preferences of the Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis milberti) and the Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus neomarsyas) on stinging nettle (Urtica dioica.)
Overwintering Techniques: Pillow Method Most caterpillars will form a chrysalis when finished feeding. However, there are some skippers and blues, that will feed to a mature last instar; go into a hibernation mode (diapause), overwinter as a larva, and lastly pupate and emerge the next spring. This "pillow technique" discusses how to handle these larvae over the winter. Always make sure that you check your larva before exposing to a cold treatment to make sure that it hasn't decided to pupate. If it does pupate, it will emerge 7-10 days later
Raising Techniques: Twin Cup Method II Applying the Twin Cup method to the Leanira Checkerspot (Thessalia leanira wrighti). This shows more detail of how to set up the twin cup and change it out every three days or so.
Margined White lays eggs Video introducing a "portable cage" and how it works well with pierid females.
Raising Indra Swallowtails using closed containers Video showing the advantages of raising indra swallowtails in closed containers over the open terrarium technique as applicable to those only rearing a few caterpillars.
Daily Papilio indra babysitting routine using the Closed Container method With the closed container method for mature Indra Swallowtails, this is the procedure I do every morning to replace out hostplant and remove frass. Doing this usually only takes 1 minute. Repeat this step morning and evening if you are raising less than 10 caterpillars.
What to do when a swallowtail is ready to make a chrysalis When a swallowtail caterpillar is finished feeding, it will purge it's undigested food, and seek a place to form a chrysalis. For those involved in lab rearing, here is an easy procedure to place them in what I call a gizmo where they can easily form a chrysalis.
Braconid wasp parasitizes Indra Swallowtail caterpillar A braconid wasp parasitizes a Papilio indra minori third instar caterpillar
Buckeye female lays eggs on plantain Short video showing a buckeye female laying eggs on Plantago major. The female was collected near Washington Fields in September, 2006. (no audio)
Papilio indra calcicola ovipositing Female Indra Swallowtail from St. George lays eggs on host Lomatium scabrum. (no audio)

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