Your method of raising Giant Swallowtails
I'd like to know if everyone besides me has luck with raising Giant Swallowtails. Maybe it would help to know exactly how other people do it. I don't have much luck raising them. Some of them make it to maturity, but there are an awful lot of them that die when they're very tiny. I raise them in shoebox-sized plastic storage containers in which I keep cuttings of rue in florist tubes. The caterpillars seem to be away from the rue more than they're on it. Then they act like they can't find their food source and move their heads side to side like they're looking for it (my interpretation anyway). I've tried letting them alone, and I've also put them on the rue, but they crawl off again without eating. I eventually find them dead in the container.
So what in the world am I doing wrong?! This is the only kind of cat that I have trouble raising. Rue is the only host plant that I have for them. I don't understand why they wouldn't like the rue since the female lays her eggs on it. I wonder if the rue shouldn't be fed to them in an enclosed space like a small storage container? I know that rue has a strong smell and didn't know if that would adversely affect them if they're not out in the open like they would be if I'd let them outside on the rue plants.
I have about 25 eggs that I collected from the rue (hate to see the spiders get them...they seem to always be hanging out on the plants). I swore up and down that I wasn't going to try raising them again, but I brought them in anyway. So now I have the dilemma of how I'm going to raise them. I have plenty of rue outside for them, but I'm not sure what would be the best way to feed it to them. I had tried to start some wafer ash trees a few years ago but didn't have any luck. I think I might try that again sometime and see if they'd do better on that, but for now, I really would appreciate your suggestions. I'd like to know how you all raise GSTs. Some of these eggs look like they'll hatch soon so thought I'd better ask before it's too late.