Sign up for Exclusive Offers

Ask us about

Free shipping & Ship to Store

Search

Order in-store

FAQ

Can I handle my cup of caterpillars?

Yes! You may handle your cup, but always be very gentle. Do not disturb the cup at all during the two days your caterpillars are pupating (changing into chrysalides). And never shake your cup of caterpillars!

Should I provide food for my caterpillars?

No, your caterpillars arrive with all the food they need to grow into healthy butterflies. Once your butterflies have emerged from the chrysalis stage, feed them with fruit, nectar (sugar water), or nectar bearing flowers

What is the food in the cup consist of?

The food in the containers is an artificial insect diet developed for multiple species of butterflies in research studies. The diet consists of toasted soybean flour, stabilized wheat germ, sugar, vitamins and mineral salts.

Should I provide water for my caterpillars?

No, your caterpillars have all the moisture they need. Remember to keep your cup of caterpillars away from direct sunlight, this will cause the inside of the cup to heat up and form condensation. This condensation can cause your caterpillars to sicken and die.

Why are my caterpillars inactive?

Like you, caterpillars need to rest and digest their food. But just wait! Your caterpillars will become more and more active as they eat the food at the bottom of the cup. Eating and growing is what they do best! If you are concerned that they might be dead, gentle roll the cup. If they remain where they are, then they are just fine.

Can I remove the lid of the cup and touch my caterpillars?

No. Removing the lid could introduce bacteria and mold into the caterpillar environment. Oils and salts from your hands could harm your caterpillars. Do not open the cup until your chrysalides have formed and it is time to move them to your butterfly habitat.

Why are my caterpillars spinning silky webbing?

It is a good sign if you see webbing in your cup of caterpillars. The webbing protects the caterpillars from many dangers. Caterpillars use the webbing to stick to their host plants, as the wind can easily blow them off the leaves. Caterpillars also use the silk to pull leaves around themselves to hide from predators that might like to eat them!

What are the little brown balls appearing in my cup of caterpillars?

Those little balls are “frass,” or caterpillar waste. It means your caterpillars are eating and growing! If you see black fuzzy balls appear inside the cup that is actually your caterpillar’s skin. A caterpillar will shed its skin several times before forming a chrysalis. If you see red balls that is sign your caterpillars are done eating and will soon be making their way to the top of the lid.

Should I provide water for my caterpillars?

No, your caterpillars have all the moisture they need. Remember to keep your cup of caterpillars away from direct sunlight, this will cause the inside of the cup to heat up and form condensation. This condensation can cause your caterpillars to sicken and die.

My caterpillars have attached themselves to the paper under the lid of the cup. How long should I wait before moving them to their butterfly habitat?

When your caterpillars crawl to the top of the cup, they are ready to pupate (become chrysalides). Do not disturb the chrysalides for at least 2 days

What do I do once my chrysalides have formed?

Remove the lid of the cup. Carefully take out the paper disk with your chrysalides attached. Pin or tape the paper disk with your chrysalides to the lower inside wall of the habitat. Your chrysalides should hang down in a natural position.

Why are the caterpillars eating the paper disk?

Sometimes your caterpillars will instinctively chew through the paper at the top of the cup. If your caterpillars have not formed chrysalides yet, gently remove the lid. Remove the chewed paper disk. Replace it with a coffee filter or piece of paper towel. Replace the lid and cut off the excess paper. If a couple of caterpillars have formed into chrysalides, open the lid of the cup. Remove the paper with the chrysalides attached. Pin the paper disk to the wall of your habitat. Replace the paper disk with a coffee filter or paper towel for your remaining caterpillars.

What is the black thing hanging on the bottom of the chrysalis?

It is the remains of the last exoskeleton shed by your caterpillar before pupating/changing into a chrysalis.

A chrysalis fell to the bottom of the cup. What should I do?

Gently scoop your chrysalis with a spoon and lay it on a piece of paper towel on the floor of your Butterfly Garden Habitat. It will emerge there safely.

Why are my chrysalides shaking?

This is a natural instinct to ward off predators.

What is the red liquid I see as my butterflies emerge?

Your butterflies will expel a red liquid called meconium which the leftover part of the caterpillar that was not needed to make the butterfly. This is stored in the intestine of the butterfly and is expelled after the butterfly emerges.

Why should I place a paper towel under my butterfly habitat before the butterflies emerge?

Tiny drops of meconium may fall to the floor of the habitat after your butterflies hatch out of the chrysalides. Place a paper or cloth towel under the habitat to ensure that the meconium will not stain your furniture.

How can I tell whether a butterfly is male or female?

Because of their egg mass, females have a larger, more rounded abdomen than males. Look at your butterflies from above. The male butterfly’s abdomen has straight sides, while the female’s abdomen is curved.

When should I release my butterflies?

Release your butterflies within a week after they have emerged from their chrysalides.

Please wait...