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photo of cage

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

photo of pinned butterfliesIn this project I am trying to get a wild female Baird's Swallowtail to lay eggs in captivity and then handpair adults from the harvest to continue the next generation. In mid-June my colleague and I were lucky to capture 2 wild females in the San Bernardino Mountains, California. I placed them in glassine envelopes with air holes and dispatched them to a cooler for the long trip home. I let them loose in a flight cage as soon as I got home. I am using my multi-purpose cage made from window screen frames and dacron chiffon netting - about 20 inches square. The front door and panels are fitted with Plexiglass for better viewing and photo ops. I placed a potted host plant (Artemisia drancunculus) along with potted nectar flowers (Lantana spp.) closely together in the cage. The female swallowtail is visible resting on a leaf.

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