Shampoo Sulphur Phoebis philea
My site is about my butterfly gardening experiences, so I guess I have to share my mistakes too.

This butterfly had a difficult beginning. First, it hung to make its chrysalis before I had an unoccupied bug box to put it in (I don't like to have different kinds of caterpillars in a box in case one is sick), so it was in a different container, with a stick, and fresh food (Cassia), and a bit of plastic wrap on top. Yes, it had air holes.

Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly
This silly sulphur ignored the stick and stuck to the plastic. Of course, as soon as I moved the plastic, it came off. I carefully wrapped the sticky stuff it spins to the end of a cooking skewer.
Chrysalis the evening before it emerged
Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly Caterpillar
Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly Chrysalis
The contrary critter emerged while I was at work, and I wanted to take pictures of it before I let it go. That's easy right after they emerge, but a lot harder after their wings dry and they can fly away; they do.

Since I didn't want to risk losing it, I took it into the bathroom, shut the door, made sure the lid was closed (no swimming butterflies in my house!), opened the box, and got it to crawl onto my finger. ...where it stayed for a nanosecond or so.

I chose that particular room because it's small, and easy to catch them in. I go there, or in the car, to photograph things that will probably fly away from me. Eventually they land, I get my pictures, then I catch them and let them go outside. The car gets hot though, and if I turn it on to run the AC it vibrates just enough that the pictures aren't good, so it's only good in the winter (right, Florida... there IS no winter here!) I also get nervous about them getting sucked up the AC intake. So I chose the bathroom this time.

This butterfly had already tried to chrysalize on the plastic, demonstrating very little sense of self preservation. I should have known better. There was a little tiny bit of spilled shampoo (pump dispenser and kids...) on the windowsill in the shower, and it went right straight to it and landed on the screen with its wings in the shampoo.

I caught it, held it gently between my hands, and rinsed off its wings. It was not happy! Then I put it on the wall, and coaxed it to pose for that open wing photo above where I figured out that it's a male Orange-barred Sulphur Butterfly.

Chrysalis the morning it emerged
Since this butterfly had such a traumatic beginning, I tried to be extra nice to him. When I took him outside, I released him on Mistflower in case he was hungry.

Ok, I was going for that nectar photo too. I didn't get it. He sat there for a bit, and then flew to the top of the nearest tree without even tasting the flower.

Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly Chrysalis
Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly Chrysalis
Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly
Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly
Male Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterfly
Orange-Barred Sulphur

Emerging from Chrysalis

Winter Form Female

"Birds and the Bees"

Shampoo (How not to raise a butterfly)


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