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.
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.