How to Breed Butterflies

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Breed butterflies by taking care of the caterpillars, providing fresh food and a clean area to live. Place butterflies in a tent with other butterflies in order to get them to mate with tips from an entomologist and insect specialist in this free video on butterflies.

Part of the Video Series: Insect Information
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. I've been an entomologist for 20 years and I'm here at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and we're here to talk about how to breed butterflies. Basically, it involves taking care of the caterpillars and providing them with fresh food daily or every other day. You can keep them in a small container, about the size of a shoe box and in addition to providing them with fresh food, you have to remove the caterpillar waste products known as frass, then rear them through about two weeks, in general. Some caterpillars take much longer to feed, but two weeks is a good ballpark, and then another two weeks is the pupal stage, and then you have your adult butterfly, which if you have multiple butterflies of a species, you can put them in a tent and if they're outside and such, they can be mating and breeding and laying the eggs for the next generation, and that's how we breed butterflies.

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