How to feed the butterflies, have them mate and lay eggs
The painted ladu butterfly female lays her eggs on host plants like the Hollyhock, the Mallow or the Sunflower.
Here are about 50 pupae in an emergence box, they are about all the same age and will all come out of their chrysalis around the same time.
After the butterflies have emerged, the box is stained with red meconium that each insect has evacuated after coming out of the chrysalis (pupa).
I place the butterflies in a small interior aviary that is in fact a campers screen tent. The butterflies always congregate on the sunny side of the aviary.
Better still, use a small flight cage that can be use as an emerging unit.
All you have to do is clean it between uses.
I feed the butterflies Gatorade in shallow bowl containing plastic scouring pads that the butterflies can land on and sip the Gatorade through the holes.
I use clear gatorade, the red stains you see in this picture are meconium. You can add a drop of soya sauce in the gatorade bottle for mineral salts, it should prolong the life of the butterflies.
Here is the gatorade in small containers with plastic scouring pads on which butterflies can settle and poke through the holes in the pad. I use transparent gatorade if possible since butterflies tend to piss the color of the gatorade ... NECTARE or make your nectare = a teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 cup of water. Take a small plastic plug add cotton wool and pour a spoonful of nectar, change the nectar to 48 hours to prevent bacteria.
Mating will take place on the fourth day and the females will start laying eggs soon after. That is the time needed for the hooks on the male to harden. Hooks that they use to hold on to the female as they mate.
Here is a picture of the blue eggs on a hollyhock leaf.
The caterpillars eating the leaf.
Here is between one and two thousand eggs in a cup.
Upon emerging the caterpillars eat their eggshells.
I place about 80 larvae on artificiel diet.
Three or four days later they are ready to be transfered into individual cups.