Ever wonder about the best way to raise caterpillars at home for fun? I do, and experiment all the time–with mixed success. That’s why I’m so looking forward to the Austin Butterfly Forum’s “How to Raise Caterpillars” meeting on Monday, April 25 at the Zilker Botanical Center. The show starts at 7 PM and it’s free.
San Antonio butterfly lovers, I encourage you to make the drive Monday night. The chance to learn such esoteric skills directly from passionate butterfly enthusiasts doesn’t happen that often–and it’s free. Also, it’s a great chance to connect with your community of fellow butterfly enthusiasts.
According to organizer Dan Hardy, several Forum members, all of whom have years of experience raising caterpillars and hatching butterflies, will lead the session. You’ll learn:
- Which butterfly species are best for novices
- How to trouble shoot illness and disease
- What kind of gear you need to get started
- Where to find eggs and caterpillars and how to transport them, plus
- How to watch for females laying eggs.
“We’ll talk about all the ways caterpillars get into trouble, ” says Dan, a pathologist by training, matter-of-factly. “Problem is, there’s rarely a cure!”
The Austin Butterfly Forum was founded in 1993 and is a nonprofit organization devoted to education and enlightenment about butterflies, with occasional forays into moths. The membership includes about 50 hobbyists and butterfly gardeners. Dan says several bonified entomologists participate as well, as do moth lovers.
Sounds like my kind of crowd. Hope to see you there.
PS. The Austin Butterfly Forum will also hold an all-day workshop on Saturday, May 7 at the same location. The session runs 10 AM – 4 PM, costs $35, and will offer the basics of butterflying, identification, gardening, and caterpillar rearing tips, as well as a guided walk around Zilker garden. The fee gets you lunch and set of plants to get started. For more information, contact Jeff Taylor, 512.825.8368.