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A new addition - Polydamas Swallowtails

On July 20th, our first Polydamas Swallowtails emerged from their eggs. On July 21st, they were put up for sale on our website.



What are Polydamas Swallowtails?

The Polydamas Swallowtail (Battus polydamas) is a butterfly in the genus Papilionidae (swallowtails). It is found in Florida, Texas, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Polydamas Swallowtails are pitch-black with 1 yellow stripe down the bottom on its dorsal side, and a mix of Red, Yellow, Black, Blue and Purple on its ventral side. It is also the only swallowtail without a 'tail'.


The Life Cycle

Polydamas Swallowtails lay their small gold-colored eggs on fresh growth or the stems of Pipevine plants. After about 4-10 days, the eggs will hatch and small black Polydamas caterpillars will emerge out of the eggs. This is called the 'first instar'. After about 2-4 weeks of eating and growing, the Polydamas caterpillar will be in the fifth instar.


Next, the Polydamas caterpillar will hang in a sort of 'J' shape, with its rear end firmly glued to the surface and its body hanging by a silk girdle. After about 72 hours of staying in this position, the Polydamas caterpillar will split its skin, revealing the pupa underneath.


Polydamas Butterflies can stay in the pupa for up to years, as Swallowtail butterflies can hibernate inside their pupae, but it usually takes 10-20 days for the butterfly to emerge.


Tip:

If you are trying to raise any butterflies from egg, put the eggs into a to-go container and cut a square of the leaf off around the egg(s).






Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a to-go container (this can be from a restaurant)

  2. Add paper towel onto the bottom of the container.

  3. Cut off the piece of the leaf where the egg(s) are.

  4. Gently place the eggs into the container.

  5. Wait until they hatch!

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