Author Topic: Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?  (Read 250 times)

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Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« on: August 26, 2019, 12:12:15 PM »
  I just started raising Monarch butterflies and just had my 1st chrysalis form and have a further 2 caterpillars fasten their backsides in preparation to form their chrysalides.

Anyone else interested in similar?  I find the process of metamorphosis fascinating.

Area covered by monarchs (Danaus plexippus, eastern migratory population) in their overwintering areas in Mexico between 1993 and 2018. (click to enlarge)


The Monarch Butterfly is on the cusp of becoming an endangered species.  If only the human species would somehow have some sort of a population decrease.  10 billion humans by 2050, that's such crap.

peace
Hog

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 12:46:25 PM »
Kind of related...
I worked for about a year as an insectary technician cultivating maggots. I know that sounds like some made up junk but, the maggots were actually grown as food for tiny predatory wasps used for natural fly control. Over 5 million maggots in production each day. Pupated maggots which had been infected with wasp eggs sent as a subscription service to equestrian facilities and whatnot. It was the strangest job I ever had. Walking into the breeding room with thousands of Musca domestica clouding the air was especially intense. The first day on the job the dude who was training me suggested that I should not enter into that room stoned. So the next day I did- not for the feint of heart. But just like any other job, you eventually adjust to the horror of the thing. One of my buds who worked there ended up getting hired as a butterfly breeder for one of those touristy butterfly farm dealeos. How's that for a left turn from the grisly world of maggots back into the beauty of butterflies for a finish?


Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 01:09:15 PM »
I am sure I am not the only one who finds the juxtaposition of the gentle pastime of butterfly husbandry with half-formed wishes for global genocide heartwarming.  This isn't the first time I've observed such a thing, either -- your average weedy vegetarian is a truly bloodthirsty creature when it comes to his own species provided the culling is done quietly, at some remove, and in a sanitary fashion.

j/k Hog; you're doing God's work.


Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 02:25:12 PM »
I knew a guy who got an AG Exemption for butterflies.So, depending on your area, you might be able to actual save $ in taxes if you can qualify.  You have to fill some forms, get appraised, and file some paperwork about your 'plan' to manage wildlife. More power to you, Hog. I try to plant stuff that butterflies like since we are in the corridor but never actually tried to raise them!

Project Monarch?! Hahahah. 


https://www.wildflower.org/project/project-milkweed 

 https://www.wildflower.org/learn/power-the-migration   

 Best Milkweeds 
Antelope-horns » Zizotes milkweed »
 Green milkweed »

Best Nectar Plants - Spring 
Prairie verbena » Purple coneflower »
 Black-eyed Susan »
 Texas lantana »
 Mealy blue sage »
 
Best Nectar Plants - Fall   

Gregg’s mistflower » Shrubby boneset »
 Maximilian sunflower »
 Fall aster »
 Frostweed »
     


Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 02:42:07 PM »
I am slightly more amused than disturbed by this thread, just sayin'...



Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 01:51:42 PM »
  I just started raising Monarch butterflies and just had my 1st chrysalis form and have a further 2 caterpillars fasten their backsides in preparation to form their chrysalides.

Anyone else interested in similar?  I find the process of metamorphosis fascinating.

Area covered by monarchs (Danaus plexippus, eastern migratory population) in their overwintering areas in Mexico between 1993 and 2018. (click to enlarge)


The Monarch Butterfly is on the cusp of becoming an endangered species.  If only the human species would somehow have some sort of a population decrease.  10 billion humans by 2050, that's such crap.

peace
Hog
Hog, how many kids do you have?  None?  Then you've done your duty to your species.   

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 01:54:15 PM »
I am developing my property into a micro- permaculture.  Seeding various areas for plants and flowers to support, bees, butterflies, and bird life.  My favorite is the hummingbird. 

I'm getting chickens, rabbits and in the spring, I will start a beehive.

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 07:09:28 PM »
I found out where they reside when I watered a thick shrub on a hot day.

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 06:58:53 PM »
3 days ago I had my first chrysalis open and out came a beautiful female Monarch butterfly.  Its wings never straightened out correctly, so she was euthanized.  I was surprised how emotionally affected I became, over a silly butterfly.

The day after another opened and another female emerged(process called eclosion). Within 30 minutes her wings had straightened out.  I kept her inside for a day then I released her.  I was holding her by the leading edges of her wings, and gave her a gentle toss up into the air.  Within seconds she was approaching 100 feet and easily cleared my trees and the neighbours trees on his farm.

This morning at about 10 AM EDT my third Monarch came out.  Its wings were all crumpled folded into quarters.  She hung upside down from her chrysalis and began to pump stored fluid from her caterpillar stages from her thorax into her wings. They straightened within minutes.  Then I noticed that she squirted a clear fluid onto the cardboard floor.  Apparently after the fluid is used to "hydraulically" straighten their wings, that fluid is returned to the body and thusly expelled.  Some call this liquid meconium, and its supposedly different colours for different species.  Same same as that first few bowel movements from a human baby following delivery.

Here's a human babies meconium, those of you who have reproduced will know all about this.

Here's a newborn babies 3rd BM

Though I have never sired offspring (that I know of) I have seen more than a few meconium filled diapers at the hospital.

The butterflies I am releasing now, if they make it to Mexico for late October, wil have a 9 month lifespan. They will overwinter in a specific forest in Mexico. Then once Winter breaks, they will head for the USA breeding and laying eggs in the outherish USA. Those eggs will hatch and then the following  cycles of breeding/egg laying/caterpillar to butterfly will happen 3 or four times with each butterfly having a 1 month lifespan before the last generation finally makes it to Canada where they breed and lay eggs.  The eggs are where my caterpillars came from. Since these butterflies born and raised in Canada will live for up to 9 times as long as the generations of butterflies that migrate Northward, they are physically larger than the generations that migrate North through the USA.

I wish I had some tags, but that will be for next year.  That's a 2 month migration for an insect with wings that are very brittle. https://monarchwatch.org/tagging/

 


I've got 5 chrysalids left with about 5 caterpillars still munching on milkweed.  I've got pics and vids that I'll post once I figure out how to post personal pics/vids.

Monarchs are on the top 10 endangered species list and are pollinators as well, so I don't mind helping out a bit. We are finally banning that chemical that hurts pollinators such as bees and butterflies. It comes into effect in a couple years up here, but I heard the USA has deferred such bans.
They are beautiful and the migration is almost as crazy as the penguin migration in Antarctica.

peace
Hog

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2019, 07:19:04 PM »
Once I saw on the Internet that Monarchs are thriving in Mexico.  But we almost never see them here anymore.

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 07:50:37 PM »
Once I saw on the Internet that Monarchs are thriving in Mexico.  But we almost never see them here anymore.
Once I saw on the Internet...that would make a good thread.  Brilliant!

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2019, 07:53:21 PM »
Once I saw on the Internet...that would make a good thread.  Brilliant!

General Musings of Tangerine?

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2019, 07:55:00 PM »
General Musings of Tangerine?
Thoughts of Tangerine has a nice ring to it.

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2019, 07:57:57 PM »
Thoughts of Tangerine has a nice ring to it.

K_Dubb should write her a poem with that title.

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2019, 07:59:51 PM »
Once I saw on the Internet that Monarchs are thriving in Mexico.  But we almost never see them here anymore.
One problem is the local Mexicans illegally logging in the certain forests the Monarchs overwinter in. The WWF actually pays people to NOT log, but that's not 100% effective. They require older thicker trees in order to survive the occasional winter storm.  Apparently the thicker tree holds more heat gathered during daytime solar heating.  If the trees cant supply enough heating and the storm is bad many Monarchs can perish.  One year 80% of the overwintering Monarchs died.

There's programs for my friends South of the border to get free milkweed plugs for your butterfly gardens.
https://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/free-milkweeds-for-restoration-projects/

peace
Hog

Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2019, 08:39:00 PM »
I had a fun time with some Luna moth cocoons as a school project in my youth.  They were released into the wild, not long after hatching.  Beautiful creatures.


Anyone interested in raising of butterflies/moths?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2019, 10:51:13 PM »
One problem is the local Mexicans illegally logging in the certain forests the Monarchs overwinter in. The WWF actually pays people to NOT log, but that's not 100% effective. They require older thicker trees in order to survive the occasional winter storm.  Apparently the thicker tree holds more heat gathered during daytime solar heating.  If the trees cant supply enough heating and the storm is bad many Monarchs can perish.  One year 80% of the overwintering Monarchs died.

There's programs for my friends South of the border to get free milkweed plugs for your butterfly gardens.
https://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/free-milkweeds-for-restoration-projects/

peace
Hog
http://www.flightofthebutterflies.com/home/  Pretty amazing stuff.

There also is almost a "woo" factor when dealing with animal migrations- that, somehow, go between generations during the travel. Genetic memory?

https://www.wildflower.org/learn/power-the-migration
They seem to like Lantanas. Not enough water, here, to plant milkweeds effectively. But closer to the creek there is a nice bunch of milkweeds that attracts them and also, interestingly, Lightning Bugs. Sometimes it almost looks like a C2C caller seeing orbs there are so many!

https://www.texasmonthly.com/article/the-flight-of-the-texas-fireflies/