These pages are dedicated to the process of raising butterflies and moths. I will share some of my own experiences with you in word and picture.
In some cases it can be as simple as planting the proper food, called a host plant, for the larvae (caterpillars) of the butterfly you want to raise. A case in point is my experience of this summer with the Spicebush Swallowtail. My Butterfly Bush (Buddlea) attracted the adults, but I wanted to see the caterpillars. They are interesting in their own right. For several years I had tried unsuccessfully to find the only plants they would accept as food. Then my neighbor presented me with a small potted specimen of one of these — Lindera benzoin. In spite of the fact that we did not have many butterflies visiting our garden this year, a Spicebush female laid five eggs trustingly on my tiny plant ! In due course, I was able to see five little Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars peeking out of tents they had made in the leaves to hide from predators.
To learn what had to be done next, Read the page on “Raising Caterpillars”.