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Old 11-05-2009, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default butterfly larvae enclosures

on another thread there was discussion re: hand raising butterflies. I described a large screened in box I used and used it for years, loved it. When I visited a butterfly house at the Atl botanical society they had a small stand up room I always felt was the best. Go figure - the experts are better. If I were to ever rebuild it would be like theirs.

It was just a framed, screened in walk in closet sized room, very small. Like a small outdoor cat room. Something like this:

cat room

Too expensive but if you do a search for outdoor cat rooms, you can find easy plans on how to build them with lumber or PVC. I never built one, seem to do fine with butterflies without it. With caterpillars you'd have to put such a room on blocks & caulk or somehow seal bottom, doors from ants and wasps.

Anyhow just passing the idea on. It's what I had planned to graduate to if I followed it more.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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The Niagara Butterfly Conservatory has this on view

butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080812ed.jpg

It's remarkable how similar butterfly wings are to leaves

butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080827ed.jpg

butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080806ed.jpg
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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Wow, Sage. Fabulous butterflies! Great shots.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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The Milwaukee Public Museum has free-flying butterflies. Their butterfly wing is open year round. We especially like when they land on our fingers.

Beautiful photos Sage.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:02 AM   #5
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I kinda like the cage idea. You could grow their host plants then plop a cat room over the top to protect them from predators and have your own private show.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:08 AM   #6
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That is what I did Equilibrium, just grew plants right in the screened cages and let the butterflies out when they emerged. A beautiful lesson and actually darned low maintenance. I'm glad I did that.

TheLorax, Atlanta botanical has a huge butterfly house. It's amazing. You could wander in it all day.

Great shots Sage. You've captured a lovely moment.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:28 PM   #7
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Yes, thanks! The Niagara Butterfly Conservatory is a large tropical garden with free flying butterflies. I have more pix on another drive. For now, here are a couple more~
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butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080739ed.jpg   butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080759ed.jpg   butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080794ed.jpg   butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080863ed.jpg   butterfly larvae enclosures-p1080877ed.jpg  

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Old 11-06-2009, 10:48 PM   #8
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I recognize some of your butterflies from having visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens this past summer with our little one. They also had a tropical butterfly garden where the butterflies were flying free.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:38 AM   #9
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Random, I like the idea of outside screened boxes or rooms. I lost many cats this year to the birds, even the monarchs, actually all of the monarch cats. Bringing them inside is just not practical for me but an outside enclosure is a very exciting possibility.
Good tip on sealing the bottom but if I do that how do I deal with the plants already growing if I pop the box over existing plants with cats on them?
I have a old screen door I can maybe use to create a room but I'm not sure I can get away with a screened room in the front garden.

Sage, your butterfly photos are lovely.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:58 PM   #10
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will-o-wisp I put screen over in ground plants before. Lined up bricks on the ground with no mortar, just some sand and stapled foam door insulation strips on the bottom of the screen box. The foam padding sealed and was weatherproof. Worked great and was easy to move.

I wonder if those cheap mesh fold up laundry baskets would be good for that. Wouldn't look too hot at the end of the summer because you'd have to use white but you can wash them for next year. Assuming they aren't in your front yard. Sure would be easier to store in winter. If it was the PVC type you could just mash it into the dirt or pile dirt around the bottom.

The caterpillars make their cocoons everywhere so they'd end up all over the mesh. Have to look at those.
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