Raising Eastern Black Swallowtails inside

2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

I've been getting nervous watching the lizards eyeing my Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars on the huge pot of fennel and parsley outside, so I moved most of the eggs and cats to the safety of an enclosure on my enclosed lanai on Saturday.

The enclosure is against the house so it gets no direct sun but the mesh sides and top allow for air circulation. There's also a clear plastic side for easier viewing though I prefer to unzip the side and view them unobstructed :)

I've got 3 pots of dill for backup food and 2 flats of seeds started, hopefully this will keep these 50 or so hungry little cats happy. All but a few of the eggs have hatched since Saturday, I keep the unhatched eggs brought in from outside on their original leaves lying on dampened paper towel on the floor. I have several layers of paper towels down and remove the top layer each day to clean out the frass, it's amazing how much those guys poop! LOL

The mesh sides and top will make it east for the cats to crawl up and attach to the ceiling when ready to form their chrysalis. Just curious, do any of you that raise them in enclosures add sticks attached to the top for them to attach to?

I hope to have at least a 50% egg to butterfly success rate.

Just an FYI, I'm posting this in both the Butterfly and Florida gardening forums. Also, still can't get pics to post with my original post, so they'll be following in a response to this post.


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