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Hatching Butterflies

We have butterflies!

We came home about lunchtime today and the butterflies had hatched.  In fact, one was sitting on our couch!  Some of the pictures show a chrysalis hanging from a branch.  The branch has been sitting in our living room with a video camera all set up just waiting for something to happen.

The weather has been cool and damp for the last few days.  Today was bright and sunny, so suddenly they were all ready to hatch.  Fortunately, the butterfly on the couch was very cooperative and we had no problems taking him outside.  

There were four more butterflies fluttering around in the container.  Moved the container outside and took some time to watch them drying their wings and taking off on their first flights.

My daughter enjoyed feeding them some sugar water as they were drying their wings.  Their tongues are amazingly long!

Butterfly drying it's wings

The small red spot on her hand is from the butterfly.  When they emerge from the chrysalis, their abdomen is filled with a red fluid.  The butterfly pumps that fluid through the veins in the wings to help the wings open.  I'm not sure how or why some of it ended up on her hand.  But after a washing it a couple of times, she realized it had stained.

There were a couple of butterflies that had fallen to the bottom of the container.  I thought one was dead and wasn't too optimistic about the other one.  They both turned out to be fine.  It took them a bit of time to dry their wings, but that's all they needed. 

These are painted lady butterflies.  The inside of the wings looks very different from the outside of the wings.    When the wings are open, you can see lots of orange.  When they are partly open, you can still see the distinctive orange and black pattern.  But when they are closed, the wings of the Painted Lady butterfly has more of a brown and beige pattern.  It's hard to believe it's the same butterfly! 

painted lady butterfly with wings partly open painted lady butterfly with wings closed

Read more about raising Painted Lady Butterflies.



You can order some butterfly larvae for your home and watch them grow into caterpillars. Then comes metamorphosis and butterflies. The 2-foot tall, newly redesigned Butterfly Pavilion "pops-up" easily. Its see-through mesh and zippered entry allows easy access for care and feeding. Includes Pavilion habitat, free mail in certificate for 10 Painted Lady butterfly larvae with special food and complete instructions.

Get your butterfly pavilion now!


Comments (12)

Louann Roberson:

Thank you so much for posting this information and pictures. This goes perfect with the Butterfly lesson I am teaching my students right now. The pictures are great!!!
Thanks again.


which company did you use? Are you in Canada?

Yes we are in Canada.

I ordered through http://www.boreal.com


thankz im doing a presentaition on butterflys at the moment

thz karley


That is a wonderful idea! Thanks for posting the website. It seems that as a child everytime i touched a butterfly they would die or at least fake their death. Do you know why that is? I know that their life span is surprisingly a few weeks. Were they ok after you guys touched them?

We were very careful not to touch their wings.

The butterflies would climb on to our fingers or land on us while we were feeding them. We stayed with them until they were all happily flying around the wildflower meadow where we released them.

Some butterflies do have short life spans while others live for much longer. The Monarch Butterfly actually migrates to Mexico for the winter!


I am in utah and wondered how i get started and where i go to get the caterpillars. I am also interested in getting tadpoles also and how to go about that. I would love some help find that out.

hemanya gupta:

I did not know that butterflies have long toungues.I think that you did something great and thanks for the idea.

Terri Hinks:

I wish I would have started the butterflies earlier. Is there anyway to still do this? Its May and I'm in Florida. Is there a place to order the catepillars to do this with my daughter?

Terri Hinks - Independant Demonstrator
www.Uppercaseliving.com 215280 token Hinks at customer corner

Here's a company you can order Painted Lady butterflies from.


Tadpoles are a bit more tricky. You need to figure out what is native in your area.

Where I live, tree frogs are native, but bullfrogs (non-native) have recently been taking over the breeding ponds and even eating the native tadpoles. Check with your garden centers. They may have a source of local tadpoles for gardens with ponds.


Hi, im doing a butterfly metamorphosis project with my studentd, i live in Canada, is there a good site where i can go to buy live larvae with beginner's kit???

For Canadian orders, try Boreal ( http://boreal.com/ )

Have fun with your butterflies!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 7, 2007 6:58 PM.

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