Black swallowtail caterpillars to raise

Gardenfor4cutees(7)June 10, 2011

Hi I am new to this forum and wanted to get some opinions on raising some BST cats I rescued from my mom's dill plant. I bought some dill plants at the store and placed them on the plant in an aquarium. Will this work to let them grow and become butterflies or should I do something else? 4 of the cats are later stages and 1 is quite a bit younger. Never have done this before and didn't want the caterpillars to be killed so now trying to figure it all out. My kids are quite excited about it though. Can't wait for the next stage. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated! I didn't know that a forum like this existed but it is certainly interesting to read. i know I will be planting dill in my gardens now just to see the cats again next year.

Thanks again.

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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

There is a chance the dill you bought from the store has insecticide on it that will kill the caterpillars. Plus, BST cats will blow through a LOT of dill so you would probably run out.

I'd try to find a wild food source that you could use. Queen Anne's Lace is a weed that grows in many places. Keeping the caterpillars in a container with fresh QAL leaves is how I raised BSTs for many years.

Some people have also suggested parsley from your grocery store isle.

Good site for how to raise butterflies (by one of our members):


Here is a link that might be useful: BST hostplants

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:08PM
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Thanks for the information. I don't think my dill has probably been treated because I noticed today that the aquarium I am using and the dill I bought are covered in aphids. I found some QAL at my brothers so I am going to go get some for them and try to clean out the aquarium so I don't have aphids on all my other plants. Thanks again

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 9:31AM
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