Hatching Eggs

When hatching butterfly eggs, there are three basic things to remember:

  1. Will the egg collapse and perish if it doesn't remain attached to the original leaf it was laid on?
  2. When the egg develops and hatches as a young first instar caterpillar, will that young caterpillar cannibalize other eggs it finds?
  3. Does the egg require humidity to hatch?  (Most from the Western U.S. do not)

The answers to these two questions depends on the species of butterfly and will drive the best setup to hatch out butterfly eggs.  This section will address the principle and provide examples whereas the Taxa Specific section will tell you exactly how to hatch certain species of butterflies.

Some butterfly species overwinter as egg.  Those eggs will require an "overwintering treatment" and is addressed in the overwintering techniques page.