Several years ago, our older son collected eggs from a wild female Vashti sphinx moth and was raising the caterpillars on Snowberry. One day, he ne...
Another of our favorite species is the Polyphemus silk moth (Antheraea polyphemus). This beauty is not only one of the largest silk moths in North America, with wingspans that range from 4 to 6 inches, but it's also the most widespread. Unlike the Cecropia (Hyalophora cecropia) or Ceanothus (Hyalophora euryalus) species, which are geographically limited to east or west (respectively) of the Rocky Mountains, Polyphemus moths can be found throughout the contiguous United States. As a result, we're able to supply eggs and pupae to moth lovers throughout the U.S.
Rearing caterpillars is the most labor intensive part of raising butterflies -- providing enough food, as well as protecting them from predators and disease -- but approximating winter conditions can be equally tricky.
When talking with customers at various market and events, there are three main questions that come up: 1) Are these real butterflies?, 2) Where do you get the butterflies?, and 3) How do the butterflies die?