Not all parents like it when children catch butterflies to pierce them with a pin and attach them to a cardboard collection. Such a "herbarium" prompts reflections: who grows up in the family - a future entomologist or a little sadist?
Another thing is to have a butterfly as a pet. Why not? We will tell you how to care for a butterfly brought from the street and how to grow it from a caterpillar. And since the age of these insects is short, the deceased pet can be immortalized under glass with a clear conscience.
And yet, is it worth getting a butterfly?
A matter of ethics
Sometimes these insects start up on their own, without invitation: they just fly into an open window. If you release a butterfly, it will spend its short life in the wild. But it is likely that after 5 minutes a bird will eat it. According to experts, leaving a butterfly at home and providing it with decent care, a person can extend the life of this insect.
Besides, today manyare engaged in breeding tropical butterflies for commercial purposes, selling them for festive events. However, the process is expensive and rather time-consuming.
Therefore, there is nothing wrong or strange in bringing an insect from the street or sheltering an insect that has flown into the house and creating suitable conditions for its existence.
We'll take a look at how to care for temperate butterflies, such as the extremely common urticaria, peacock eye, burdock, mourner or admiral.
From an aesthetic point of view, it is more interesting to keep diurnal butterflies, but it is worth considering that these insects are also attracted to light. During the day, the pet will tend to the window or sit on the curtains, and at nightfall it will be drawn to all the lights on.
Of course, the butterfly needs to be released to fly around the apartment, but it must have its own home. To do this, you can use:
- plastic container;
- large glass jar;
An insectarium equipped with special equipment or at least a large plastic container will be required when breeding butterflies. And with the usual content, this is important if other animals live in the house, especially cats. Otherwise, with a butterfly flying freely around the apartment, at least there will be no curtains on the windows. Yes, and in the process of hunting, both pets can suffer.
At t from +22 °С and humidity within 60-80% butterflies are active all daylight hours. If the air in the apartment is excessively dry, the insect is sprayed fromsprayer 1-2 times a day from a distance of about 30 cm from the wings.
The more time the pet will spend in free space, the better. Some owners only put the insect in a regular box at night, where they put a sponge moistened with water, and let it fly around the apartment during the day.
And now the main question that worries potential owners of winged beauties: how to feed a butterfly at home?
Honey "nectar" and rotten fruit
What these insects eat in nature, even children know: pollen and nectar of flowers. However, the diet of butterflies is not limited to this, for example, many species drink the juices of rotten fruits with pleasure. By the way, representatives of the sailboat family, as well as the usual nymphalids, need sodium. The peacock, admiral or burdock can often be seen sitting on damp clay soils or whitewashed trunks of fruit trees in summer. Butterflies also like to sit on sweaty people. These are the ways to get your own s alt.
Therefore, there is nothing complicated about how to care for a butterfly and how to feed it. To prepare nectar at home, you need 1/5 tsp. dilute honey in 2 tsp. water. The mixture is prepared in a socket, saucer or in a small jar lid. The insect is carefully taken across the abdomen and planted on the edge of the container with food. A hungry butterfly will immediately straighten its proboscis and begin to draw "nectar" into itself. The meal can last from 2 to 15 minutes.
Also prepare butterfly food from overripe fruit. A piecethe pulp of an apple, pear, banana, mango, melon or watermelon is kneaded in water to a liquid consistency. It is recommended to offer your pet food 2 times a day.
The task becomes more difficult, but it becomes even more interesting if you want to see with your own eyes how a luxurious butterfly will be born from a not very attractive caterpillar.
How to grow a butterfly from a caterpillar
Reproducing at home the full life cycle of these insects is quite difficult. Under natural conditions, males and females find each other by the smell of pheromones, and mating is always preceded by complex ritual dances and courtship. Even if you bring home individuals of both sexes, it is not certain that they will breed. After all, the females of each species lay their eggs on certain plants that the caterpillar will feed on. For example, the peacock eye chooses hops, nettles, willow or raspberries for laying eggs.
Therefore, it is easier to find a butterfly caterpillar, carefully take it along with a leaf or twig and identify it in a container or insectarium. At the bottom of the tank, you need to pour earth and you can put a snag.
In the larval stage, these insects are extremely voracious, so the caterpillar will need fresh leaves from its host plant. At the end of the last molt, the butterfly pupates and becomes immobile. By the way, not everyone weaves a cocoon. In many species, the formation of adults can be observed through the pupal shell.
At home, this phase lasts 2-3 weeks, after which the shell breaks and a shriveled insect appears, whichclimbs on a branch or other elevation. Under the influence of hydrostatic pressure, the capillaries of the wings are saturated with hemolymph, the butterfly spreads its wings and takes off.
Now you know how to care for a butterfly.