During this time of year, it is important to monitor weather conditions in your area. Daytime temperatures should be over 55 degrees Fahrenheit to safely release your butterflies.
Insect Lore's Cup of Caterpillars is a live refill for your Butterfly Garden, The Giant Butterfly Garden or the Butterfly Pavilion.
It includes caterpillars (larvae) and nutritious caterpillar food. If you are purchasing a Cup of Caterpillars, be sure to have a habitat ready for your butterflies!
Cup of Caterpillars Includes:
- A cup of 5 caterpillars with all the nutritious food they need to grow into lovable Painted Lady Butterflies. The Cup of Caterpillars is also known as a "live butterfly culture". 3 of the 5 caterpillars are guaranteed to develop into adult Painted Lady Butterflies.
- Deluxe Chrysalis station log
- The Caterpillar Quick Guide. This is a brief overview to get you started. For in-depth instructions regarding caterpillar and butterfly care please see our Caterpillars to Butterflies Instruction Guide.
- 'READ ME' insert with helpful caterpillar raising tips
Watch Your Caterpillars Grow!
Your Cup of Caterpillars will arrive at your door in a clear plastic cup complete with nutritious food. This cup will house your caterpillars until they change into chrysalides, so be sure to keep it in a safe place away from direct sunlight or drafts. Everyone will marvel at how much caterpillars eat and how quickly they grow! Your children can document their caterpillars’ growth by drawing pictures, taking photos or making graphs. After seven to ten days, the caterpillars will stop eating and will climb to the top of the cup. Once there, they will attach themselves to the paper disk under the lid of the cup, hang upside down and transform into chrysalides.
The Miracle of Metamorphosis
Once your chrysalides have hardened, it’s time to move them into their butterfly habitat. Carefully remove the lid of the cup and pin the paper disk with the chrysalides attached to the lower inside of the habitat. For approximately seven to ten days, an amazing change takes place inside the chrysalides! The caterpillar parts inside the chrysalis gradually liquefy and reform into a beautiful butterfly.
After your butterflies have emerged, they will depend on you for their dinner! Place fresh flowers in the butterfly habitat for your butterflies to rest on while feeding. To make the nectar, thoroughly mix 3 teaspoons of sugar with 1 cup of water. Then sprinkle a few drops of this nectar on the blossoms daily. Children love to watch the butterflies unfurl their long proboscises to sip this sweet treat! Don’t forget to provide fresh slices of orange or watermelon for your butterflies as well.
Let Them Go!
Children often become attached to their butterfly friends but it is best to release them into the wild within a week of their emergence from the chrysalides. After you have watched and cared for your butterflies for a few days, take the habitat outdoors and let your children experience the special joy of setting them free.
Caterpillars shed their exoskeletons FIVE times before they pupate!
Due to import restrictions, Insect Lore cannot ship outside the Continental United States. We cannot ship live insects specimens to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, or Mexico. We also cannot ship live product overseas.
About the Seller
Insect Lore is the Original Butterflies-By-Mail Company, founded by entomologist Carlos White. It was Carlos’ dream to provide children with the opportunity to witness the wonder of butterfly metamorphosis up close in the home and classroom. After years of research and development, Insect Lore launched in 1969 with the creation of our beloved flagship butterfly-growing kit, the Live Butterfly Garden. Decades later, Insect Lore ships hundreds of thousands of caterpillars and butterfly kits to excited families and students across the US, the UK and Europe each year. Our innovative product line now includes ladybug, praying mantis and ant growing kits, as well as hands-on educational products that make science more approachable and relatable to young learners.