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how do i raise painted lady butterflies raising vanessa cardui

Raising Painted Ladies

"Hooray! My butterfly kit has arrived!"

The joy of receiving that cup filled with little bitty caterpillars…ahhh…but, then…to read the instruction sheet can simply bring that level of happiness to a halt. Don't despair! It isn't that bad, truly! Here are some simple step-by-step instructions to help you raise healthy butterflies.

If you haven't already been out searching for an organic diet for your little babies, then you will probably have to rely on the artificial diet that was shipped with the larvae. The artificial diet will have to be refrigerated as it will need to last for upwards of two weeks. Kept out, it will soon grow mold and other yuckies which is NOT healthy for the larvae so, please, put the extra food that comes in the second container into the refrigerator, pronto.

Note: Those of you who have purchased the smaller butterfly kit containing one small cup of five larvae will not receive an extra cup of the artificial diet so the refrigerator issue is moot.

cup of Painted Lady larva
cup of the artificial food
Larvae Shipment: What do I
small cup with lid

If you are using the Beckman Science Kit or the FOSS kit, then you will be receiving at least 30 larvae, a cup of artificial diet/food, and 30 small, 1/2-oz or 1-oz plastic cups and lids. You can choose to utilize the artificial diet OR, you can begin immediately to feed your larvae an organic diet. You should transfer your larvae soon after you get them because they are shipped in over-crowded conditions and this is an unhealthy environment.

IMPORTANT: Once a caterpillar has been switched over from the artificial food to the organic it is nearly impossible to get it to eat artificial food again…Be sure you have plenty of the organic stuff around before you make the food switch!

Materials for raising caterpillars:

• individual containers (with lids)
• toilet tissue
• scissors
• paintbrush
• food (organic or artificial)

Okay, got all your materials together? Let's get to it then by clicking STEPS.

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