We have been raising butterflies from a kit that came with a coupon to receive caterpillars by mail, a butterfly enclosure and instructions. Each step has been very interesting and informative, not only for our kids, but for me as well. I have posted about each phase and you can read about the caterpillar stage, the chrysalis stage and the emerging from the chrysalis.
It was now time for them to go and explore the world for themselves. The kids were excited to help let them out of their enclosure which except for the cups they were raised in caterpillars, it is the only home they have known.
My son was the first to put his hand inside and bring out a butterfly. He was just so tickled that a butterfly was sitting on his hand.
Next, it was my daughter's turn...
Now Gracie is normally a bit squeamish about bugs, but she was simply entranced by this butterfly.
She carefully put him on my Purple Lilac Vine.
It only paused a few seconds, before it flew away.
The makers of the butterfly kit highly recommend releasing the butterflies into the wild as they are beneficial to the environment. They are important pollinators and even though the caterpillars were raised in a sterile environment, they know what to do as soon as they are released as adult butterflies.
My kids had such a great time holding the butterflies before they flew off. **As you can see, the hand holding this butterfly is quite dirty and obviously belongs to my only son. I have raised 4 daughters and their hands never seemed to get as dirty as his does ;-)
This one made straight for my flowering Palo Verde tree...
I mentioned in my last post that we did have a surprise occurrence while raising butterflies. One of the chrysalis had a split down the side and the butterfly in it emerged a day later then the others. It could not completely get out of the chrysalis - it was stuck on it's lower end. It was also obvious that the wings were deformed. My husband helped to take off as much of the chrysalis he could from the back end of the butterfly, but part of it would not come off.
You can see part of the chrysalis still attached to the end and the wings were not completely formed. However, he was able to fly a little. And so we put him on my Lantana shrub, where he would not have to fly much and could enjoy all of the flowers he could.
You can see his tongue sipping the nectar out of the Lantana flowers.
I must confess that this Butterfly Kit was a spontaneous purchase. We saw it our local warehouse store and bought it for my daughter. I have been so pleased at this entire experience.
My kids and I have learned so much and I highly recommend trying this. You can purchase your own kit at www.insectlore.com They even have other kits available where you can raise ladybugs, praying mantis, spiders, ants and worms. Now, I just need to decide what we will raise next.
Thank you for going on this journey with me and for leaving your wonderful comments.