How to raise a butterflyDesign by Andrea DeLong-Amaya • Photos by In Churl Yo
Adapted from Native Plants Magazine Summer 2005 VOL. 21, NO. 4.
READ butterfly field guides to learn about native butterflies in your area and which plant species they use for caterpillar (or larval) food.
LOOK for caterpillars on the plants in your garden. A few popular larval foods are milkweeds for monarchs and plants in the carrot family for certain swallowtails.
PLACE a large tomato cage around the plant on which caterpillars are found, to act as a frame for your rearing cage. Make sure the cage is sturdy enough to hold up in the wind.
WRAP screening material securely around the tomato cage so that the caterpillars are protected from predators like birds and wasps.
OBSERVE your caterpillars as they continue to eat. If all foliage has been eaten, relocate them to a fresh plant of the same species.
SOON your caterpillars will form a chrysalis inside the cage. Observe daily to see if your butterfly has emerged. Once itís ready, carefully remove the cage.