Our First Success!


My two little princesses finally got their "Live Butterfly Garden" gifted to them by their uncle several weeks ago. I didn't buy it for them because I didn't think it would be 1) possible to grow butterflies, and 2) with my girls' track record on killing any living thing, I think we have sinned enough. Well, surprise..surprise ... our first ever successful "pets" that didn't die on us!

The Live Butterfly Garden kit comes with 5 larvae in a cup and a pop-up mesh basket. The bottom of the cup has nutrients for the larvae to eat which, by the way, looks like wet brown sugar. Of course, there was a lid and tiny air holes around the rim. Within a few days, there was silk around the larvae, and within a week, the larvae grew into caterpillars. A week or two later, the caterpillars crawled to the top of the cup and hung themselves upside down on a paper disk on the lid. During this stage, the caterpillars hardened and formed chrysalids.

One of the five chrysalids fell to the bottom of the cup. I didn't know what to do with it because based on the instructions, you have to pull away the paper disk and pin it on to the lower inside mesh basket's wall. It was pretty hard pinning the disk to the basket's wall because I was afraid the shaking movement as I'm attaching the disk might cause the chrysalids to fall off. Well, after several attempts, I was finally able to attach the disk to each of the girl's basket. I placed the fallen chrysalid on a piece of tissue on the bottom of the basket. For the past couple of days, one by one, a butterfly emerged from each chrysalid. As for the one I placed on the tissue, it didn't make it.

If it wasn't for my eldest daughter remembering that we have to feed the butterflies (good thing she also read the instructions pamphlet), I wouldn't have thought that you need to feed the butterflies. Turns out, butterflies feed on sugar water. We soaked a paper towel with the sugar water and placed it on the bottom of the basket. Who knew it was this simple to feed them! They also feed on orange which we also placed in the basket.

Chrysalid's Stage:


At first glance, it looks like we have two different species of butterflies. When the butterflies close their wings, their colors are gray-brownish. When the wings are spanned open, the colors are orange and black. As a matter of fact, the official name is Painted Lady Butterfly. If the temperature is above 55 degrees, we can release them. I don't think we will, it's freezing cold and with our continuous thunderstorms, it's like sending them out to a suicide mission. We can keep the butterflies inside the basket for their life cycle which is 2-4 weeks.


Anonymous said...

I've seen these butterflies kit on commercials and thought they were neat. Sounds like good science projects for kids to learn about butterflies transformation stages. Wow, 2-4 weeks life span only?? Thought it was in the years range.

Ryhen | Mind Power said...

Hey that's cool. I didn't know kids can have butterflies as pets now. All I know is that butterflies and dragonflies are widely used metaphors for spiritual transformation. Btw, have you seen the butterfly man and dragonfly crop circles? Those things are spot on! =)

"with my girls' track record on killing any living thing, I think we have sinned enough." - lol... that was hilarious.

Superman said...

Wow, not bad. Butterflies are not easy to handle. Very fragile. Your kids did well! Well done.

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

I didn't know we can keep butterflies as pets. This is truly amazing.

Gratitude said...

As for me, the most wondrous thing is to take them out into the garden, set them free, and watch the floating angels. ^_^
Have a wonderful weekend ya!

RoseBelle said...

@KN - My girls saw one to those commercials and asked for the kit. Come to think of it, it does make a good observation science project.

@Ryhen - Yeah, I wonder what other creatures will people think of next to domesticate! Ideally, it is recommended that we release them if the weather is ideal, 55 degrees. I just released them today.

@Superman - Thanks! I'm surprised myself, 8 out of ten butterflies survived so I'm proud we did it right this time around!

@Willie - I thought it was strange at first which was why I didn't want to buy the kits for my girls. It actually didn't require a lot of work, only after the butterflies came out from the chrysalids did it require us to prepare sugar water to feed them. Pretty easy work.

@Gratitude - We released them in our backyard today. They didn't come out instead we had to pick some out and shake the basket so they'd fly out. Most of them just "hang around", I think 2 or 3 flew away.

Lana said...

How interesting...and never knew butterflies live up to 4 weeks. Congrats on your success!!

Ebie said...

Congratulations! Now you have refreshed my biology lesson. And your kids paid so much attention on the instructions that it saved the butterflies' lives!

Cheryl said...

Wow, have never heard of such kits before. Your girls must have loved to watch the progess. One wonders where the butterflies will go when they are released.

Medie007 said...

awesome! i never saw these before!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I am hearing about live butterfly kit...wow. A great science lesson for kids! :)

RoseBelle said...

@Lana - I didn't know butterflies have short lives either. I thought they have long lives for some reasons.

@Ebie - Oh this entire experience refreshed my biology lesson too. I'm glad my eldest daughter is an attention to detail girl otherwise we would have starved all her "pets".

@Cheryl - My girls asked the same question..over and over again, "mommy, where will the butterflies go after we let them out?" I just hope they find a safe place to live.

@Medie - they're awesom to watch and learn too.

@Mei - Yeah, not that many people have heard about Live Butterfly Garden. I think it will catch on once people know how easy it is to grow them.

TK said...

Hi Rose Belle. Thanks for visiting my blog. It's very interesting that you can see how butterflies grow. I also don't know that you can keep them as pets.Butterflies are beautiful animals indeed but I hardly see them nowadays..