Since the winter was getting a bit bleak I decided to add some life into my home and ordered Buckeye larvae from Shady Oak Butterfly Farm. I eagerly awaited them on a bitterly cold day, and unpacked the lovely box with clear instructions about the contents (2 host plants, 1 pop-up cage, nectar mix and a cup of 6 larvae).
The box was really cold so I wasn’t sure how the larvae/instar 1 had fared, but upon placing them by the heater they started moving and I gently transferred them to their host plant.
They munched away and started doubling in size rapidly.
I love the blue hues from these instars.
Observing their movement is fascinating.
Host plant 1 became decimated just as the first caterpillar made its way up the cage to start pupating (on day 13 of having them in my home).
Caterpillar 2 followed suit, and the next evening 3 began climbing up for their cocooning location.
Now I am awaiting the emergence of 6 butterflies in a week or so.
I’ll probably be getting some citrus fruit to feed them, but this nectar mix could be handy if the weather keeps me inside.
Meanwhile, host plant two will hopefully be an egg-laying surface for generation 2. I raised Painted Ladies last winter from a kit that didn’t come with host plants and regretted not having anything for the hatching eggs to feed from…