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photo of caterpillars

Baird's Swallowtail Rearing Project - Larvae
(Papilio machaon bairdii)

photo of pinned butterfliesMy swallowtail eggs hatched in about five days. A few weeks later I have a nice batch of fat larvae. I stuck cuttings of the host plant in empty tuna cans with floral foam and water. These arrangements were placed in a rearing cage. Some caterpillars conveniently pupated on the plant stems, which I could easily clip for transfer to another cage for eclosing. Others started wandering around the rearing cage looking for a place to pupate on the cage walls. I prefer not to let them do this so I placed the wanderers in small paper bags to pupate. That way I had more control when it came time to move all the pupae to the eclosing cage. See next photo.

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