Rearing Butterflies -- Many Questions

Semjase semjase at
Mon Dec 27 13:29:48 EST 1999

>Subject: Rearing Butterflies -- Many Questions
>From: calypso985 at  (Calypso985)
>Date: Mon, 27 December 1999 01:11 PM EST
>Message-id: <19991227131132.09704.00001383 at>
>Hello, everyone!
>My husband gave me a Butterfly "kit" for Christmas, and I am very much
>forward to trying it out.  Suddenly, I find that I have more than just a
>passing interest in this topic!   I have a coupon to mail in, for which I
>receive 5 Painted Lady larvae.  I am going to wait until spring, though, so
>that I can release them into my yard :-)   Also,  I now have about a ZILLION
>(OK, maybe only 10 or so) questions!!
>1.  Is it difficult to rear "tropical" butterflies in a temperate climate (I
>live in Oregon)? 

No it is not if proper host plants can be found.

 What special equipment is required?

The same as you have now and warm temperatures.

  In other words, just
>WHAT am I getting into here?

A nice hobby.
>2.  What about "host plants"?  (Yes, I've been reading a bit.)  Can native
>plants be substituted,

Yes they can.

 or are butterflies picky eaters/breeders?

Usually so.
>3.  Where and how does one obtain eggs and/or larvae of species not native to
>your region?

Do a search under "live pupae"

  (I'd really like to try Luna Moths.)   Are permits required?


>there "dealers" who sell these things?

>I should mention that I have absolutely NO interest in dead specimens, pinned
>in a box.  Any butterflies that I manage to rear will be released (if
>possible), or kept for breeding (if I am successful at this).

I would strongly suggest then that you work with local butterflies and moths as
releasing an exotic in your area has a remote chance of causing ecological

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