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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Oh no! Silly butterfly eclosed in the house!

The kids just showed me a male Black Swallowtail they found on the kitchen windowsill onion greens. :shock:

Well, actually, I knew there was a brown overwintering chrysalis hanging under one of the avocado leaves, but I didn't think it (he) would eclose now. :roll:

I hear them looking for a home to put him in and prepping a sugar solution to feed him with. I don't know how long we can keep it alive. They don't normally eclose until at least late April, sometimes May.... :?

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lorax
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You should be OK; use white sugar in solution to feed him/her, because this won't grow fungus or anything, which would ultimately kill your flutterby.

You might want to think about using a smallish round piece of sponge in the feeding dish, which will make the "nectar" easier for the swallowtail to drink - and I've found (I sometimes end up with rescued Monarchs, Admirals, and Fritillaries) that if you make a fomix or similar cutout of a flower, in a bright colour like red or yellow, it will stimulate him to drink from the feeder more readily.

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SPierce
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hes good luck :D would love to see a photo of the guy! hope you're able to figure something out to feed him

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Update: our little butterfly is still alive. (we've been afraid to name him....)

I've heard about needing to use white sugar, but alas I don't have any in the house (and I wasn't up to getting a bag for the butterfly, though I do buy a bag for the hummingbird feeder later in the season....). So he's been getting organic cane sugar solution. It might be helping to supply some micronutrients/minerals -- at least I hope so.

My daughter has appointed herself the butterfly feeder and has been mixing a tiny amount of fresh solution every morning. Initially, when he didn't seem to know to feed from it, she hand fed it with a soaked cottonball. Yesterday, I saw him sitting on the cottonball "waiting" for her. :wink:

Getting a hint from your suggestion, Lorax, we put a close up photo of colorful butterfly-attracting flowers cut out from a seed catalog under the yellow vitamin bottle lid we're using to hold the sugar solution. :D

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Today was the silly butterfly's last day. He was so weak that he could barely move his wings, and my daughter said he could just move his legs as she gently held him on her hand.

My daughters decided to bring him outside so he could see real flowers --
"All he ever saw was just the pictures from the catalog...." -- and feel the almost-spring sunshine.

We looked for butterfly nectaring flowers but there were hardly any yet. We did find one dandelion bloom, and he was coaxed to perch on it in hopes of tempting him. But even when his proboscis was gently extended, he had no appetite or strength left, and a sudden gust of wind was enough to dislodge him. :(

We gathered other flowers around him so he could see them and watched until he stopped moving.... :cry:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/b5eb0538.jpg[/img]

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rainbowgardener
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Sad story, but beautiful picture. RIP beautiful butterfly!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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