How to Overwinter Black Swallowtail Chrysalis

by Linda

Hello Glorious-Butterflies!! I was hoping you wouldn't mind if I asked your assistance regarding overwintering the black swallowtail.

I actually had great success last year, and when it emerged in the warm spring, it was huge and gorgeous. I put it in an airtight container, wrapped in a tissue, with one drop of water. I placed it in my garage refrig in the veggie crisper. I will have to share a photo!!

I currently have 16 black swallowtails in my sunroom; 4 of which are still in the caterpillar stage. It was only 38 degrees here last night (I live in Powell, OH). Am I right in assuming I should begin overwintering? I forget how many days I should let the chrysalis harden though. I will actually need to carefully detach some - one on my fireplace, one on a door frame, etc. They just escape too easily! Will this be OK? I hope you don't mind such a long email! Just love these butterflies! Thank you so much for your assistance!

Karen says:
Thanks for sharing your successful method of overwinter a black swallowtail chrysalis!

The chrysalis usually hardens fairly quickly. I am wondering if you should wait a while before you use your method of overwintering. I am not sure at what point of transformation the butterfly is normally in when it overwinters. If you very carefully detach the chrysalis I would think it would be OK. Handle it as little as possible...maybe use a tweezers to detach it.

If any of my visitors have any other ideas or experience, please chime in :)

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