Painted Lady Caterpillar Kit
Caterpillar Kit    
You have purchased a Painted Lady Caterpillar Kit.   
What to expect......  
There are a few guidelines for your new pets.   
Please review the questions and answers below.  

Painted Lady Kit Instructions


Where should I keep my new pets?

Keep your new pets at room temperature OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Caterpillars at 65 degrees will grow much slower than caterpillars at 75 degrees.
2. What should I do with the cup. KEEP THE LID ON THE CUP.  This cup contains the food that the caterpillars will eat.  It also provides safe habitat for the caterpillars. 
3. When do I remove the caterpillars from their cup/habitat? The caterpillars will eat, grow and spin webs in the cup.  Do NOT REMOVE the caterpillars until two days after they make their chrysalis.
4. What is the first thing we should see? Your caterpillars may be very small and not appear to eat much.  Look at the surface of the food and you will see where they are eating. 
5. The cup is full of webs, is this normal? Yes,  they are affectionately known as the "Bag Ladies" as they spin a lot of web to "Hang Out" in.
6. There is a lot of little balls in the bottom of the cup.  What is it? This is FRASS, more commonly known as caterpillar poop.  You may empty this from the cup if you wish, but it is not necessary.  They will find the food below it as needed.
7. Why is there a paper under the lid? This paper is where the caterpillars will pupate.  When the caterpillar has had enough to eat, they will go to the top of the cup, hang in a "J" and shed their skin for the final time.
8. What do I do with the chrysalis? The last time they shed their skin, it will expose the chrysalis underneath.  This will be very soft for the first two days.  Do not touch or move the cup during this time.  Two days after the chrysalis has formed, they may be moved to the butterfly house to emerge.  Pin the paper inside your habitat.
9. What do we do if a chrysalis falls off the paper? Allow it to harden before picking it up.  Carefully rinse the chrysalis in cool water to remove any frass.  Place a small piece of paper towel in the bottom of your habitat and place the chrysalis on the paper towel. 
10. Will a chrysalis that falls become a butterfly? Yes, they will emerge from the chrysalis and crawl up the side of your container.  If you are using a container with smooth sides, you will need to provide something with a rough surface for the butterfly to climb on.
11. My butterfly is bleeding, what do we do? Nothing, this is normal.  It is not blood, but meconium.  It is a good idea to place a piece of paper towel in the bottom of your butterfly habitat.  This makes it much easier to clean the enclosure.
12. How long can we keep our butterflies before releasing? This depends on how much work you want.  Painted Ladies will pair with in 2-3 days.  At this point, the female will begin to lay eggs, LOTS of eggs.  If you plan on raising more caterpillars (400+ per butterfly), you may keep and feed them, if not, please release them.  You will need a lot of food for the caterpillars.
13. My butterflies will not eat. When the butterflies emerge, they may not eat the first day.  They stored all the food they need for the first few days when they were caterpillars.  They will eat when they are ready.
14. What do we feed our butterflies? SWEETS!  They have a sweet tooth.  They like sugar water, fresh fruit and even Fierce Grape Gatorade.  Fruit may be placed on a small lid or plate.  Liquid may be placed in a soda bottle lid on the bottom of the habitat.
15. What do we do with the dirty habitat? Clean it with warm soap and water.  Soak in a 5-10% bleach solution for 10 minutes.  Rinse with hot water and allow to air dry.  It is now ready to raise more butterflies.
16. How long will my butterfly live? The Painted Lady butterflies will live 2 to 4 weeks.  The  wings will become tattered and worn, all this means is that the butterfly is getting old (like me with gray hair).
17. One caterpillar is not as large as the other(s), Why? We raise healthy caterpillars, but sometimes nature knows better.  The caterpillar may grow slow or not grow at all.  This is why we have multiple caterpillars in the cups.  You may get all nice butterflies.  If nature knows something is wrong with the caterpillars, it may not continue the life of the caterpillar. 
18. My butterflies died.  What happened? Butterflies have a short life span.  Death was not due to captivity or your care.  Hopefully the butterflies accomplished their mission, lay eggs for the next generation.  Explain the natural cycle of life to your child and that the butterflies have completed their life cycle.
19. The wings do not look right? Sometimes in nature, things do not happen as they should.  It may have been too dry in the area where you had your chrysalis or the butterfly was not meant to survive.  If it will feed, you can feed it for its life, but if it is too week, you may assist it to go to butterfly heaven.  Gently place the butterfly in a plastic bag and place in the freezer.  It will go to sleep and then move on to heaven.