Raising Black Swallowtail butterflies?


I found a Black Swallowtail Caterpillar in my garden today, feasting on some carrots. I now need to know how to raise them! By that I mean what type of container to use and such and such.Is it OK if I keep it in a 26 OZ pasta sauce jar? It is about 1 inch big, and green with black stripes and yellow dots. Any more info would be helpful!

Karen says:
Check out my pages on raising black swallowtail butterflies for detailed information. Also, for more information on caterpillar containers, this page on raising monarchs will help.

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Voice of Experience
by: Anonymous

I raised black swallowtails last year when I found them munching on our parsley. A pasta sauce jar is not a good place to keep it! When you poke holes in the metal top, the serrated metal can easily puncture the caterpillars fragile skin. A good container to use is an old aquarium. Get some screen and put it over the top of it, securing it with a rubber band. A small, 2.5 gallon aquarium is fine. But for multiple caterpillars I would suggest something larger.

Also, as far as feeding goes, they like parsley, fennel, rue, and carrot. They won't eat anything else. They don't need water, as they get all their hydration from the leaves. Be sure to clean out the leaves and poop every morning to keep the caterpillar healthy. Have fun!

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