How to Make a
CATERPILLAR REARING CONTAINER
Text and Pictures by Bea Laporte
1. Using the scissors, cut off the bottom of the pop bottle.
2. Remove the cap and replace with a piece of nylon, kept on with the elastic. This is to allow your caterpillar to get air.
3. Use the pencil to punch a hole in the middle of the lid of your container. Then fill with water.
4. Look for a caterpillar on its host plant (or an egg). Cut the whole branch or leaf off at a size that can fit into your container and place the stem through the hole in your lid, making sure it sticks into the water. If the host plant is near you, replace with fresh leaves every day, if not be sure to collect extra leaves or branches and keep them in a container with water or put in a baggie, mist and keep in the fridge.
Now you have your very own caterpillar rearing container!
(Please note: although this container can be used for rearing moth caterpillars, it is not suitable for moths that pupate in soil.)
The larvae do not need water because they get all they need from the leaves of their host plant.
Clean out the droppings (frass) and wash the containers at least twice a week, being careful not to hurt the caterpillar.
Once a pupa, a frequent misting will be necessary to keep it from drying out.
Dont forget to keep notes and dates! You may even want to make drawings or diagrams or take pictures of the caterpillars different colors and features of each instar. If you dont already know, see if you can figure out what kind of caterpillar you have. You can do this by checking a Caterpillar Guide, or you can go on the internet. Here are a few websites that may be able to help you ID your caterpillar:
You may be interested in reviewing books about caterpillars available at Amazon.com in the US, Canada and the UK by clicking here.
Cite this page as:
Laporte, Bea. Last updated . Page title: . Retrieved from The Backyard Nature Website at .