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Raising Clouded Sulphurs

Posted by molanic Z5 IL (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 7, 13 at 21:07

Here are some pictures from the two clouded sulphurs I raised last summer.

I found the eggs on the white clover that grows in the lawn. It was totally by luck. I was weeding and the butterfly landed a few feet away in the lawn where there were no flowers... which peaked my interest.

It just happened to be right at the edge where the clover met the corner of a paver. I just kept staring at that exact spot until it flew away and then went over and found two eggs. If I hadn't noticed it I'm sure the lawnmower would have gotten them before they matured.

The silly butterfly wouldn't lay eggs in the patches of clover that I LET grow long of course. But at least from those patches I had a supply of clover with stems longer than an inch to harvest from. That made it much easier to keep the stems in oasis or water to keep them fresh.

There are two eggs here. They are off-white elongated and stand upright. They were brought in on May 4th.

The caterpillars were very well camouflaged, especially in the early instars and liked to line up with the creases in the clover leaves. They didn't eat nearly as much as monarchs, swallowtails, or even American ladies.

Here are some chrysalis photos. They hung to the side of the containers with a sling like a black swallowtail does. They started out mostly green, but then showed more yellow and rosy coloration closer to eclosing. When they are empty it sort of looks like a banana peel to me.

Here is the little cutie at release on 6/6, about one month after finding the eggs. Neither one let me get a picture with their wings open. The only time they opened up is when they flew away and they didn't even bother to stay in my yard. They just went right up over the house and disappeared without so much as a thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Raising Clouded Sulphurs

That is how I have gotten all of mine. Watch them lay the egg and don't take your eyes off the leaf.

RE: Raising Clouded Sulphurs

I guess I'll have to wear telephoto glasses or something. I have watched them and when I thought they had layed eggs, found nothing. The eggs are typical Sulphur eggs.

You are right, Molanic, they rarely expose the upperside of their wings. The chrysalis does look a tiny bit similar to other Sulphurs.

I did notice that the spring/early summer CS's appear smaller than the early fall crop, IMHO. They were huge for a Clouded Sulphur.

I keep hoping for Bordered Patches and Texan Crescents. I have both larval host plants for these.


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