Species Specific Rearing Criteria

  1. Photo Life History:  Photographs of eggs, larvae, and/or pupae.
  2. Habitat: Where can you find eggs and larvae of this butterfly?
  3. Host Plants:  What plants will caterpillars of this butterfly feed on?
  4. Suitable Lab Host Plants: When natural host plants are difficult to find in the field, what substitute plants will work in the lab?
  5. How to Find Female Butterflies:  How do find live female butterflies?
  6. How to Care for Live Female Butterflies: How do you keep live female butterflies alive?
  7. Methods of Female Oviposition: How do you get a female butterfly to lay eggs in the lab?
  8. How to Find Eggs: How can you find eggs in the field?
  9. How to Hatch Eggs: How do you hatch these eggs?
  10. How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  How can you find caterpillars in the field?
  11. How to Find Pupae in the Field:  For most butterflies, finding pupae in the field is extraordinarily difficult because caterpillars usually wander off their host plant to form a chrysalis.  However, there are some varieties of butterflies where you actually can find pupae.
  12. Caterpillar Setups: What types of equipment/setups are helpful to raise caterpillars of this taxon?
  13. Larva to Pupa: How can you tell when a larva has finished feeding and needs to form a chrysalis?
  14. Number of Broods per Year:  How many flights per year does this butterfly have?
  15. Overwintering Stage: Does the butterfly spend the winter as egg, caterpillar, pupa, or adult?
  16. Overwintering Strategies:  What types of setups and strategies are needed to overwinter immatures; preventing eggs or caterpillars from desiccation, mold, or predation during the winter months?
  17. Post-Hibernation Strategies: Once your egg, caterpillar, or pupa has gone through a sufficient period of cold temperatures; (overwintering), you will want to expose it to spring-like conditions to get it to break diapause.  These conditions include warmer temperatures, long days, isolation, fresh host plant, and/or humidity to get that immature to either emerge from pupa, pupate from mature last instar larva, resume feeding from mid-size larva, or hatch from egg. 
  18. Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Overwintering and post-hibernation strategies can be avoided in the lab if you expose expose eggs, larvae, and/or pupae to long days, high humidity, and/or very healthy host plants.  Doing this allows you to obtain adult butterflies sooner rather than later and can be very advantageous.  However, if you intend to raise butterflies to return them to their right habitat at the right time, you may want to disregard this section.     
  19. Disease Prevention:  What can you do to prevent caterpillars from getting sick and dying?
  20. Emergence: What are some containers and setups you should use to emerge the adult butterfly?
  21. Field Notes: