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Caterpillar – Build A Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit

Original price was: $ 4.99.Current price is: $ 3.79. Per Caterpillar

Transform your space into a haven with our Caterpillar –  Build a Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit. Ignite the joy of nature exploration as you embark on a captivating journey of raising these vibrant butterflies from caterpillar to winged beauty.  You will witness the miraculous transformation while contributing to the conservation of these magnificent pollinators. The Painted Lady Butterflies are a delight to raise and require minimal care during their incredible metamorphosis.

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Expedited, XpressPost and Priority Shipping

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Tracking Included with Canada Post

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Postal Insurance with Canada Post

Please choose your delivery timeline from the provided options below. Prior to shipping your order, we will notify you via email.

Add-ons

We ship caterpillars in cups of five. If you would like to separate them into cups of one caterpillar each, just select that option below.


The minimum order quantity is 1.

The minimum order quantity is 1.

The minimum order quantity is 1.

 

ATTENTION: Please note that a net cage is required to hatch and release of your butterflies. If you already have net cage and do not require it, please leave the quantity amount blank to not add a net cage.

The small butterfly habitat/hatching net cage is designed for raising butterflies with a vinyl window panel to view butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises through their metamorphosis. Re-usable and a must-have experience for all butterfly and insect lovers!
Dimensions 12” x 12” x 12”

The small butterfly habitat/hatching net cage is designed for raising butterflies with a vinyl window panel to view butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises through their metamorphosis. Re-usable and a must-have experience for all butterfly and insect lovers!
Dimensions 13.5” x 13.5” x 24”

The quantity mentioned above refers to the number of caterpillars. To proceed with an order, a minimum of 10 Painted Lady caterpillars is required. You can add more caterpillars in increments of 5.

Description

You are able to add and build a kit that has everything you need to raise these marvelous creatures minus the net cage (with the option of adding the cage if needed). Our easy-to-follow instructions make it simple to experience their metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. The entire process typically takes around two weeks from the moment your kit arrives, with timing subject to variations based on your local climate conditions.

These kits are designed for every environment, whether at home, school, retirement home, community center, or otherwise. The kits also make incredible gifts for burgeoning enthusiasts, teaching lessons about life-cycles, transformation, and growth…often a child’s first experience nurturing the development of a wild creature in a time where there is more focus on screens rather than what’s all around us.

The Caterpillar – Build A Painted Lady Raising Kit includes:

    • Complete diet protocol for nurturing caterpillars into butterflies in each cup. With the option of either large cups housing 5 caterpillars each or 1 caterpillar in a small individual cup. (The quantity of caterpillars will vary based on your selection with the minimum order of 10 caterpillars)
    • A special note from the MonarchButterflies.ca team
    • Basic instructions with a QR code for comprehensive instructions, including video demonstrations always accessible on our online blog.
    • An Native Poem to be read at the time of the butterfly release
    • Caterpillar Cleaning / Hygiene Brush (to remove frass and webbing)
    • Optional Small or Large Net Cage

To learn more about the raising experience and our Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit, or get more information about the process, please visit our FAQ Page and our Online Blog.

Other helpful links:

  1. How to check total costs including shipping and taxes for your order
  2. Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit Instructions
  3. How to Feed your Butterflies: A Simple Guide
  4. Warm & Cold Weather Butterfly Release Instructions

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This kit includes everything you need to raise and release butterflies minus the net cage (with the option of adding the cage if needed). From the arrival date of your package, it takes approximately 2 weeks to raise your caterpillars into butterflies. The growth and development of butterflies is climate-dependent. In colder conditions, the caterpillars will take longer to reach the butterfly stage; in warmer conditions, their growth will be accelerated.

If you are a school or institution that has a deadline for raising the butterflies, please select the option for Educational Use when placing your order so we can do our best to meet your timeline. While we have a substantial volume of kits available, we fill orders on the priority they are placed, so we advise placing your order as far in advance as possible.

To learn more about the process of raising, caring, and releasing butterflies, please visit our FAQ Page and Online Blog for detailed information. If there is something you’d like to add, please let us know at info@monarchbutterflies.ca and we’ll be sure to add it.

SHIPPING TIME

The next available shipping dates in June are the weeks are estimated the week June 17th and June 24th. Further dates will be in late August into September and will be updated here once they become available.

We begin shipping these kits each year at the end of April/May – weather dependent and season permitting. These kits continue to ship in June and late August, September each year. These kits are available for purchase year round but only ship at specific times throughout the listed months. We do not ship during the month of July until late August because of extreme heat, which is not optimal for shipping and handling caterpillars. Additionally, from late October until April, we are unable to ship kits due to cold weather conditions. Releasing insects in cold temperatures outside their natural survival requirements, without a food source, may lead to their perishing.

We will do our best to ship your kits in the month you request, but if there are any delays or issues, we will notify you via email. While we have a substantial volume of kits available, we fill orders based on the priority they are paid for, so we advise placing your order as far in advance as possible. Prior to shipping out your order, we’ll notify you via email. 

Please be aware that the “as soon as possible” option does not guarantee immediate shipping; rather, it signifies that your kit will be shipped as soon as it becomes available, during our seasonal timeline. This means these orders will be shipped out as soon as they become available within our seasonal timeline, which may occur at the end of April-May, June, or August-September. Your order will then ship in the priority it was paid for. Once your order becomes ready and we have a shipping timeline available we will notify you via email prior to shipping your order.

When ordering Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kits for two distinct timelines, such as different months, the shipment will be processed based on the earliest available shipping timeline. If you desire multiple shipments, kindly submit separate orders, as each will incur its own shipping costs. Consolidated orders in a single cart will be shipped together, and the shipping fee will reflect the entire order. By default, the complete order will be dispatched with a unified tracking number, unless otherwise specified. This applies for all of our products/insects including Butterflies For Releases and all other insects available on our website. To convey specific shipping instructions or preferences, please communicate via email. Our staff will need to confirm and acknowledge these details to ensure feasibility, as not all requests can be accommodated.

All shipments are made through Canada Post and shipped to the address provided, however, they may choose, at their discretion, to leave your package at your front door, a side door, with a concierge, at a safe drop location, in a community mailbox, or tag it for pickup at your local post office. Although we wish they can hand-deliver every package, it is out of our control. Please ensure you provide the most accurate postal address and any special instructions if needed.

In the past, we’ve used other courier and delivery services, and our experience has been that Canada Post takes the most care when handling our packages. After years of service, we developed a relationship with Canada Post as they are aware of the contents of our packages and use special handling with every delivery.

All of our packages are shipped Expedited, XpressPost or with Priority shipping based on the shipping method selected by you. This will include a tracking number and standard $100 postal insurance from Canada Post. Postal insurance is included on all orders and any claims for damage or lost packages should be made to Canada Post. For full details on Canada Posts delivery terms and conditions, please visit www.canadapost-postescanada.ca

To learn more about about our shipping policies in details please visit https://monarchbutterflies.ca/about-us/shipping-policy/

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How do I feed my butterflies?

Please see our blog post for that goes over this information in detail: How to Feed your Butterflies: A Simple Guide

Where can I find your Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit Instructions/Video?

For comprehensive written instructions and accompanying video, please refer to our blog post. Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kit Instructions

Can you ship Painted Lady Butterfly Kits before the given timeline?

Unfortunately, we cannot ship the Painted Lady Butterflies Raising Kits prior to the scheduled shipping season, which typically ranges from late April to June and again from late August to September. Please note that this timeline depends on weather and seasonal factors each year and is determined by the order placement and payment priority. Prior to shipping your order we will notify you via email.

How do I know if my insects have perished?

If you suspect that your insects may have perished, we understand your concern and want to assist you promptly. To address this issue, please follow these steps:

  1. Email our team at info@monarchbutterflies.ca with your concerns about the well-being of your insects.
  2. Our dedicated butterfly specialist will carefully review your email and respond to your inquiries. To help us better understand the situation, please provide clear and visible photos of all the insects, even if it requires submitting multiple photos. High-quality images can aid us in assessing the condition of the insects.
  3. Along with the photos, please include a detailed description of the insects’ current state and any relevant observations you have made. The more information you can provide, the better it will help us in our assessment.

Our team is committed to ensuring your satisfaction and the health of our butterflies. We will do our best to address your concerns promptly and provide you with appropriate feedback and guidance.

Can I use your butterfly kit at home or in the classroom?

Absolutely! Our butterfly kits are specifically designed to be used in various environments, including homes, classrooms, senior homes, or any setting where you wish to experience the magic of butterflies up close.

Whether you’re an educator looking to enhance your classroom’s learning experience or an individual fascinated by the wonder of butterflies, our kits offer an excellent educational and immersive opportunity.

To learn more about the proper care and usage of our butterfly kits, we encourage you to refer to the product’s care instructions. These instructions will provide you with all the necessary details on how to set up, maintain, and ensure the well-being of the butterflies throughout their life cycle.

Can I select a specific date for your monarch or painted lady kits?

We understand your desire for flexibility in choosing a specific date for receiving our monarch or painted lady kits. However, due to the unique nature of our products and the consideration for the well-being of the butterflies, we are unable to accommodate requests for selecting precise shipment dates.

The shipment of our monarch or painted lady kits depends on several factors, including the prevailing weather conditions at the time of shipping, ensuring the insects safety and health during transit. Additionally, to maintain fairness for all our valued customers, orders are processed and shipped based on the order they are placed in.

Rest assured, we are committed to providing you with the best possible experience, and we will make every effort to ship your order promptly and ensure its safe delivery.

Before we ship your order, we will send you an email notification to inform you of the estimated shipping date, giving you ample time to prepare for the arrival of these delightful butterflies.

For more comprehensive information about the shipping timeline, kindly refer to the ordering page and click on the “Shipping” tab. There, you will find the most up-to-date details available. In case you choose to follow up with our team via email regarding shipping, please be informed that the information provided on the shipping tab will be identical to the response you receive via email. We strive to maintain consistency and accuracy across all communication channels.

Why do some butterflies hatch with crumpled wings?

In some cases, butterfly wings may not fully expand or may remain crumpled after hatching from the chrysalis. There are several reasons why this might happen:

  1. Genetic or developmental abnormalities: Sometimes, a butterfly may have genetic mutations or developmental issues that affect the proper development of its wings. This can result in wings that do not expand fully or do not develop normally.
  2. Environmental factors: The conditions inside the chrysalis or the surrounding environment during the pupal stage can impact wing development. If the chrysalis is subjected to stress or suboptimal conditions, it may affect the wing expansion process.
  3. Injury during emergence: The process of emerging from the chrysalis can be challenging, and the butterfly may encounter difficulties while pushing its way out. In some cases, this struggle can lead to wing damage, causing them to remain crumpled.
  4. Premature emergence: If a butterfly emerges from the chrysalis prematurely or if the chrysalis is accidentally damaged before the butterfly is ready to come out, its wings may not have had enough time to develop fully.
  5. Inadequate time for wing expansion: In some species, the wing expansion process can take several hours. If the butterfly is disturbed or disrupted during this time, it may not have sufficient time to complete the expansion, leading to crumpled wings.

Butterflies with crumpled wings may have difficulty flying or may not be able to fly at all, which can significantly affect their ability to forage for food, escape from predators, or find suitable mates. Unfortunately, butterflies with severely deformed wings may have reduced chances of survival in the wild.

If you encounter a butterfly with crumpled wings and want to help, it is essential to handle them with care. However, in many cases, the best course of action is to allow nature to take its course, as attempting to intervene may cause more harm than good.

Do you offer any other insects other than monarchs and painted ladies?

No, we do not offer any other insects besides monarchs and painted ladies. Our focus is on providing experiences centered around these two beautiful butterfly species. We take pride in offering monarch and painted lady butterfly kits, as well butterflies for release including various related products and services to enhance your butterfly-raising and releasing experiences.

Monarchs and painted ladies are popular choices due to their accessibility, adaptability, and significance in butterfly conservation efforts. Both species are known for their fascinating life cycles, captivating colors, and their ability to bring joy and wonder to people of all ages.

Do you offer orders for pick up?

We currently operate as an online store and do not offer orders for pick up. All orders must be placed through our secure online platform on our website.

Our seamless online ordering process allows you to browse through our diverse range of butterfly-related products, including live butterflies for release, butterfly rearing kits, butterfly frames and more. Once you have selected the items you desire, simply add them to your cart and proceed to checkout.

During checkout, you will provide your shipping address, and we will take care of the rest. We entrust the reliable services of Canada Post to ship your order directly to your designated location, ensuring safe and timely delivery.

We understand that some customers may prefer to pick up their orders in person for various reasons. However, at this time, we are unable to make an exception to our shipping policy, as it enables us to efficiently serve customers across different regions.

Do you offer monarchs in egg or caterpillar stage?

We do not offer Monarchs in the egg or caterpillar stage. Our focus is on providing monarch pupa (chrysalis) or fully developed adult butterflies for release, as this ensures the best results and contributes to the well-being of the butterflies providing the highest success rate.

While we understand the appeal of witnessing the early stages of a monarch butterfly’s life, offering monarchs in the egg or caterpillar stage presents unique challenges. The larvae require specific care, habitat, and diet to develop successfully, which can be complex and sensitive to manage. To ensure the highest success rate we only offer monarchs in the pupae state or butterflies for release.

To maintain the highest standard of care and minimize any potential risks to the butterflies, we specialize in providing healthy and vibrant pupae or adult butterflies for your butterfly release event. This approach allows you to enjoy the mesmerizing transformation of the pupae into magnificent butterflies and participate in their release, creating a magical and memorable experience.

Regrettably, we are unable to make exceptions to our policy and offer monarchs in the egg or caterpillar stage. However, we assure you that the butterflies you receive will be in prime condition for a successful and joyful release.

Does the monarch kit include food or do I need to have milkweed available to feed to them?
We are delighted to inform you that the kit includes pupae specifically intended for hatching and releasing only. As a result, there is no need for milkweed, as these pupae have already completed their caterpillar stage and do not require additional food.
The Monarch Kit provides a wonderful opportunity to witness the fascinating process of butterfly metamorphosis and contribute to monarch conservation efforts. By releasing these beautiful butterflies into the wild, you are actively supporting their natural life cycle and helping to maintain their populations. If you have any further questions or require additional information about our Monarch kit, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
What is the webbing in the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit cups?

The webbing observed in Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit cups is a natural behavior of the caterpillars as they grow and develop. Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars (Vanessa Cardui) are known to produce silk-like threads, which they use to create webbing in their containers. This behavior is commonly observed in various butterfly species, and it serves several essential purposes:

  1. Anchoring: Caterpillars create webbing to anchor themselves to the sides of the container. This allows them to crawl upward, downward, or sideways without falling off or getting injured.
  2. Molting and Pupation: As caterpillars grow, they undergo several molting stages, shedding their old exoskeletons to accommodate their increasing size. The webbing provides a stable platform for the caterpillars to attach themselves securely during the molting process.
  3. Pupation Site: When the caterpillars are ready to pupate and form their chrysalis, they will attach themselves to a suitable surface using their silk threads. The webbing provides a strong foundation for the chrysalis to develop safely.
  4. Protection: Webbing can also offer some protection for the caterpillars against predators, as it creates a physical barrier around them.

If you have a Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit, observing the caterpillars’ webbing is a natural and fascinating part of their development. It’s a sign that they are actively growing, molting, and preparing for their transformation into beautiful butterflies. The webbing is harmless and part of their natural behavior as they progress through their life cycle.

What are the yellow/brown balls in the cups with the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit?

The yellow/brown balls you see in the cups with the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit are likely the caterpillar’s frass, also known as caterpillar waste or poop. As caterpillars eat and consume plant material, they excrete waste in the form of small pellets or balls. The frass is usually a combination of undigested food and other waste materials expelled by the caterpillar’s digestive system.

Frass is a natural part of the caterpillar’s life cycle and is not harmful. In the wild, caterpillars disperse their frass on leaves and branches, contributing to the nutrient cycle in their ecosystem. In the rearing cups or containers provided in butterfly kits, the frass accumulates in one area, making it visible and easy to notice.

When caring for caterpillars, it’s essential to monitor their frass accumulation and clean the cups regularly to maintain a clean and hygienic environment for the caterpillars. Keeping the cups clean also helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that could affect the caterpillars’ health.

If you are using a Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit, make sure to follow the provided care instructions to ensure the best conditions for the caterpillars’ growth and development. Monitoring the frass is one of the many aspects of caring for caterpillars and fostering a successful metamorphosis into adult butterflies.

How do you clean up after the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit

Cleaning up after the caterpillars is essential to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment for their growth and development. Following the instructions provided in the Painted Lady kit is crucial for the well-being of the caterpillars.

To clean up after the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit:

  1. Use the Brush Provided: In your kit, you should have a brush specifically designed for cleaning the cups or containers. Use this brush to gently remove the frass (yellow/brown balls), their black shed skin, and any webbing that may have accumulated.
  2. Clean Every 2 to 3 Days: Cleaning the cups should be done every 2 to 3 days, or as necessary depending on the level of waste and debris present. Regular cleaning helps keep the habitat clean and prevents any buildup of waste that could potentially harm the caterpillars.
  3. Follow Detailed Instructions: Refer to the Painted Lady Kit instructions that came with your kit. They will provide specific details and guidance on how to perform the cleaning process effectively and safely.
  4. Monitor Caterpillar Health: While cleaning, also take the opportunity to observe the caterpillars’ health and behavior. Look for any signs of distress, illness, or abnormalities, and address any concerns promptly.
  5. Proper Disposal of Waste: Dispose of the removed frass, shed skin, and webbing properly. If possible, compost the frass, and dispose of any other waste in the trash.
  6. Wash Hands: After handling the caterpillars or cleaning their habitat, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Cleaning up after the caterpillars is an important aspect of caring for them during their development. Following the provided instructions ensures a successful and rewarding experience as you witness the caterpillars’ transformation into beautiful butterflies.

When should I release my butterflies?

Releasing your butterflies after hatching is a critical step in their life cycle and conservation efforts. The timing of the release depends on a few factors, including the species of butterfly and the weather conditions in your area. Here are some general guidelines for when to release your butterflies:

  1. Wait for Wings to Dry: After the butterflies emerge from their chrysalides, they need time for their wings to dry and harden. This process usually takes a few hours, during which the butterflies may rest on a flat surface or hang from their chrysalides.
  2. Check Weather Conditions: Choose a day for the release ( 1 to 3 days) when the weather conditions are suitable for the butterflies. Avoid releasing them during heavy rain, strong winds, or extreme temperatures. Ideally, a calm and mild day with temperatures above 60°F (15°C) is best.
  3. Morning or Late Afternoon: The best time to release butterflies is in the morning or late afternoon. During these times, the temperatures are usually moderate, and the butterflies have a better chance of finding food and shelter.
  4. Provide Nectar Sources: Before the release, make sure there are nectar sources available nearby. Flowers with sweet nectar will provide essential nourishment for the butterflies as they begin their journey.
  5. Choose a Suitable Location: Select a suitable location for the release, preferably an area with plenty of flowers and vegetation where the butterflies can find food and potential mates.
  6. Gently Release the Butterflies: To release the butterflies, gently place them on your hand or a nearby surface. They may take a moment to adjust before flying away. Avoid touching their wings, as they are delicate and easily damaged.
  7. Observe from a Distance: After releasing the butterflies, observe them from a distance to ensure they fly away safely and don’t encounter any immediate threats.

Releasing butterflies is a beautiful and rewarding experience that allows these magnificent creatures to continue their life cycle in the wild. It also contributes to butterfly conservation efforts and helps maintain healthy populations.

Why do I need to place a paper towel at the bottom of the net cage?

Placing a paper towel at the bottom of the butterfly net cage serves several important purposes in the care of butterflies and caterpillars:

  1. Absorb Moisture: Butterflies and caterpillars excrete liquid waste along with their frass (solid waste). The paper towel absorbs this moisture, helping to keep the habitat cleaner and drier. Excessive moisture can lead to mold growth, which can be harmful to the caterpillars and butterflies.
  2. Easy Cleanup: The paper towel makes it easier to clean the cage by trapping the caterpillar waste and preventing it from sticking to the cage’s surface. Regularly changing the paper towel helps maintain a clean and hygienic environment for the butterflies and caterpillars.
  3. Provide Traction: The paper towel provides a textured surface that helps the caterpillars move and crawl more easily. Smooth surfaces may make it challenging for the caterpillars to navigate and climb.
  4. Visual Contrast: A light-colored paper towel can create a visual contrast, making it easier to spot caterpillar waste (frass) and identify potential issues with caterpillar health.
  5. Temporary Food Source: For some caterpillar species, like the Painted Lady butterflies, the paper towel can serve as a temporary food source. Painted Lady caterpillars may eat the paper towel along with their primary food source until they transition to a chrysalis. However, it’s crucial to ensure they have access to their specific caterpillar food to meet their nutritional needs.

When using a paper towel in the butterfly net cage, make sure it is clean and free of any chemicals or additives that could be harmful to the butterflies and caterpillars. Regularly replace the paper towel as needed to maintain a clean and healthy environment for the insects.

Remember to follow the specific care instructions provided with your butterfly kit for the best results in raising and caring for the caterpillars and butterflies.

What are the black balls in the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit

The black balls in the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit cup are the shed or molted skin of the caterpillars during their various instar stages. Painted Lady caterpillars go through 5 instars as they grow and develop. During each instar, they outgrow their current exoskeleton, and to accommodate their increasing size, they shed their old skin.

The shed or molted skin appears as small black balls in the cup, and you may notice multiple of these as the caterpillars progress through their instars. This shedding process is a natural and necessary part of their growth, allowing them to continue to grow and develop until they reach the final instar before pupating.

As the caterpillars shed their skin, they reveal a new, larger exoskeleton underneath, which is soft and pliable at first but hardens as it dries. This process is crucial for the caterpillars to accommodate their increasing size during their rapid growth phases.

What are the red balls in the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit?

The red frass balls in the caterpillar cup are a clear indication that the caterpillars have completed their feeding stage and are now preparing to pupate. Pupation is the transformative process where the caterpillars metamorphose into pupae before becoming adult butterflies.

Is there enough food for the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit in the cups?

Yes, absolutely! We take great care in measuring and providing an ample amount of food for the caterpillars. In fact, we include a little extra to ensure that they have more than enough sustenance to support their healthy growth and development.

What do the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit eat?

The Painted Lady caterpillar artificial diet, also known as caterpillar food or rearing diet, is a specially formulated mixture designed to provide all the essential nutrients and sustenance required for the healthy growth and development of Painted Lady caterpillars.

The exact composition of the artificial diet can vary depending on the manufacturer or supplier, but it typically includes a combination of the following ingredients:

  1. Soy Protein: Soy protein is a rich source of essential amino acids, providing the caterpillars with the necessary building blocks for their growth.
  2. Sucrose or Sugar: Sweeteners like sucrose or sugar serve as a source of carbohydrates, providing energy for the caterpillars.
  3. Minerals and Vitamins: The diet is fortified with various minerals and vitamins to ensure the caterpillars receive a balanced and complete nutritional profile.
  4. Gelling Agents: Gelling agents, such as agar or gelatin, are used to solidify the diet into a gel-like consistency, making it easier for the caterpillars to consume.
  5. Water: Water is an essential component of the artificial diet, providing hydration for the caterpillars.
  6. Preservatives: Some diets may include preservatives to extend the shelf life and maintain freshness.

It’s important to note that the artificial diet is carefully formulated to mimic the nutritional content of the caterpillars’ natural food source, which is usually plant material like leaves. The artificial diet ensures that the caterpillars receive a balanced and nutritious diet, supporting their healthy development until they pupate and eventually emerge as adult Painted Lady butterflies.

If you are using a specific Painted Lady kit or rearing system, the ingredients and instructions for preparing the artificial diet should be provided with the kit. Always follow the provided guidelines to ensure the best care for the caterpillars during their growth and metamorphosis.

How long does the process from when the Painted Lady Kit arrive to reach the butterfly stage take?

The entire process, from the egg stage to the development of adult butterflies, takes approximately 4 weeks. However, when you receive the kit the caterpillars will take around 2 weeks to reach the butterfly stage for release. Here’s a breakdown of the timeline:

  1. Egg to Caterpillars (Larvae): When you receive your Painted Lady Kit, the caterpillars are in the egg stage. It takes around 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch and the caterpillars to emerge.
  2. Caterpillars (Larvae) to Pupae: Once the caterpillars emerge, they will go through several instar stages as they grow. After approximately 2 weeks, they will reach the final instar and be ready to pupate.
  3. Pupae (Chrysalides) to Hatch: The pupation phase lasts about 5 to 8 days. During this time, the caterpillars will form pupae (chrysalides) where their transformation into butterflies occurs.
  4. Emergence of Adult Butterflies: After 5 to 8 days of pupation, the adult Painted Lady butterflies will emerge from the chrysalides and be ready for release into the wild.
Can we open all caterpillar containers and place them in the net cage with the food?

No, it is not recommended to open all the caterpillar containers and place them in the net cage with the food. The caterpillars are kept in individual cups or cups of 5 for specific reasons, and here’s why:

  1. Preserving Food Freshness: The artificial diet in the cups is carefully formulated to provide the caterpillars with the necessary nutrition. Opening all the cups and placing them in the net cage with the food can lead to the artificial diet drying out quickly, making it inedible for the caterpillars. Keeping them in their individual cups or cups of 5 ensures the food remains fresh and accessible for the caterpillars.
  2. Preventing Bacterial Spread: By keeping the caterpillars in their cups, you minimize the risk of bacterial infections spreading between caterpillars.
  3. Optimizing Success Rate: Placing the caterpillars in cups is designed to provide the best conditions for their growth and development. It allows for easier monitoring of caterpillar’s progress and ensures they have ample space and resources to thrive.

Keeping the caterpillars in their cups is a carefully planned strategy to maximize the success of the rearing process. It helps maintain a clean and hygienic environment for the caterpillars and supports their healthy development into pupae and eventually into adult butterflies.

Can we remove the cup lids and play with the caterpillars?

No, it is not recommended to remove the cup lids and play with the caterpillars. Handling the caterpillars or opening the cups can introduce potential risks that may harm the caterpillars. Here’s why:

  1. Bacterial Contamination: Opening the cups may expose the caterpillars to bacteria and other contaminants from the environment. The cups are designed to create a controlled and sterile environment for the caterpillars, and opening them could disrupt this balance.
  2. Oil and Salts from Hands: Caterpillars have delicate bodies, and their skin is sensitive to oils and salts from human hands. Handling the caterpillars directly may transfer these substances, which could be harmful to them.
  3. Disturbance to the Habitat: The caterpillars’ cups provide a suitable habitat for their growth and development. Opening the cups and handling the caterpillars can cause stress and disrupt their natural behavior.

When is it appropriate to open the cups?

The cups should only be opened for specific purposes, such as cleaning the caterpillar frass (waste) or transferring them to the butterfly habitat once they fully pupate and form chrysalides. Regular cleaning of the frass helps maintain a clean and hygienic environment for the caterpillars.

However, handling the caterpillars is best avoided to minimize stress and potential harm to them. Letting the caterpillars undergo their natural metamorphosis undisturbed is essential for their successful development into healthy adult butterflies.

Why are the pupa/chrysalides shaking?

It is normal for chrysalides to shake or wiggle, and this behavior serves as a defense mechanism. The shaking or wiggling is an instinctual response that the pupa uses to ward off potential predators or intruders that may be nearby.

Does the shaking harm the chrysalides?

No, the shaking does not harm the chrysalides. It is a natural and harmless behavior exhibited by the pupa to protect themselves from potential threats in their environment.

How should we respond to the shaking chrysalides?

If you notice the chrysalides shaking, it’s essential to avoid touching or disturbing them. It’s best to allow the pupae to undergo their metamorphosis undisturbed. By providing a calm and stable environment, you are ensuring that the pupae have the best chance of developing into healthy adult butterflies.

Observing the shaking behavior can be a fascinating aspect of the butterfly life cycle. It’s a reminder of the wonder and complexity of nature’s defense mechanisms in action. Enjoy the process of observing the pupae as they prepare for their transformation into beautiful adult butterflies.

What is the red liquid on the cages when a butterfly hatches?

When butterflies emerge from the pupa, the butterfly will pump a fluid called meconium. This liquid is stored in the intestine of the butterfly. When the butterfly has completed pumping the liquid into its wings, the excess is expelled. The red liquid is a natural occurrence and is part of the butterflies hatching process.

The red liquid that you may observe on the cages when a butterfly hatches is meconium. Meconium is a waste product that accumulates in the digestive system of the butterfly during its pupal stage. It is composed of metabolic byproducts and leftover materials from the caterpillar’s development.

When the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, it needs to pump bodily fluids into its wings to expand and inflate them fully. As the wings unfurl and expand, some of the meconium is released along with these fluids. This process is a natural part of the butterfly’s emergence and wing development.

Meconium can vary in color, but it is often seen as reddish-brown or dark in appearance. It may be more noticeable in lighter-colored butterflies. The presence of meconium is normal and does not indicate any health issues for the butterfly.

Once the butterfly has fully emerged and its wings are dry and functional, it will be ready for release into the wild. As it flies and feeds on nectar, the meconium will naturally wear off, and the butterfly will begin its life as an adult, continuing the cycle of pollination and reproduction in its natural habitat.

I have issues or am concerned about my insects. I need troubleshooting

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention, and we apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. We are dedicated to assisting you with any issues or questions you may have regarding your insects.

To address your concerns or file a claim, please visit www.monarchbutterflies.ca/claims. By submitting an online claim, our team will thoroughly review your concerns and provide appropriate troubleshooting or support.

When filling out the claim form, please provide as much detail as possible about the specific issues or concerns you are facing with your insects. Including relevant information will aid us in better understanding the situation and offering targeted solutions. Clear instructions on the requirements are provided on the claims form page to guide you through the process.

After you submit your claim, our team will promptly review it and respond to your concerns. We strive to provide timely and helpful solutions to ensure your satisfaction, in line with the terms and conditions outlined on www.monarchbutterflies.ca/terms.

We value your feedback as it helps us improve our products and services, and we are committed to resolving any issues you may encounter. Our ultimate goal is to ensure you have a positive experience with our products and that you can enjoy raising and observing these fascinating insects.

Are the Milkweed Seeds ready to be planted?

Yes, absolutely! Our milkweed seeds have undergone the cold stratification process, which is a natural method of breaking seed dormancy. As a result, they are fully prepared and ready to be planted.

What is cold stratification, and why is it important for milkweed seeds?

Cold stratification is a process that simulates the natural winter conditions that certain seeds require to germinate. Milkweed seeds, like many native plant species, have evolved to depend on this cold period to signal the arrival of spring and initiate their growth.

During the cold stratification process, the milkweed seeds are exposed to a period of moist cold temperatures, similar to what they would experience in their natural environment during winter. This helps to soften the seed coat and allows the embryo inside the seed to mature and become ready for germination.

How should I plant the milkweed seeds?

Planting milkweed seeds is relatively straightforward. Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. You can sow the seeds directly into the soil at the appropriate depth, typically about 1/4 inch deep. Water the area thoroughly after planting to ensure the soil is evenly moist.

Milkweed seeds are an essential food source for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, so planting them contributes to supporting their populations and conservation efforts.

Where can I find the Painted Lady raising kit and the monarch kit instructions?

The instructions for the Painted Lady Raising Kit and the Monarch Kit can be found in several places for your convenience:

  1. Ordering Page: The instructions are available on the ordering page of our website.
  2. Blog: You can also access the instructions on our blog. We have dedicated blog posts or articles that provide step-by-step guidance on how to use the kits.
  3. Email Confirmation: Once you place an order with us, the instructions will be emailed to you along with your order confirmation. This ensures that you have easy access to the instructions right in your inbox.

If you have already placed an order, please check your email for the instructions. If you haven’t received the instructions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support team. We are here to help you and ensure you have all the information you need for a successful and enjoyable experience with our kits.

Can I pre-order the butterfly kits and butterflies for release? If so when can I place the order?

Yes, you can pre-order both the kits and butterflies for release! We offer the convenience of pre-ordering these items, allowing you to plan and secure your purchases well in advance. You can place pre-orders for our kits and butterflies up to 1 year in advance.

What is the food that is sent with the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit made out of?

The food that is sent with the Caterpillar – Build a Painted Lady Raising Kit is an artificial diet specifically formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients and sustenance required for the healthy growth and development of Painted Lady caterpillars. The exact composition of the artificial diet may vary depending on the manufacturer or supplier of the kit, but it typically includes the following ingredients:

  1. Soy Protein: Soy protein is a rich source of essential amino acids, providing the caterpillars with the necessary building blocks for their growth.
  2. Sucrose or Sugar: Sweeteners like sucrose or sugar serve as a source of carbohydrates, providing energy for the caterpillars.
  3. Minerals and Vitamins: The diet is fortified with various minerals and vitamins to ensure the caterpillars receive a balanced and complete nutritional profile.
  4. Gelling Agents: Gelling agents, such as agar or gelatin, are used to solidify the diet into a gel-like consistency, making it easier for the caterpillars to consume.
  5. Water: Water is an essential component of the artificial diet, providing hydration for the caterpillars.

The artificial diet is carefully designed to mimic the nutritional content of the caterpillar’s natural food source, which is usually plant material like leaves. It ensures that the caterpillars receive a balanced and nutritious diet, supporting their healthy development until they pupate and eventually emerge as adult Painted Lady butterflies.

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