Amazing Zebra Longwing Butterflies!

Amazing Zebra Longwing Butterflies!

Joined: January 26th, 2008, 10:36 pm

June 29th, 2012, 5:09 am #1

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

Last edited by beckygardener on June 29th, 2012, 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 22nd, 2012, 5:48 pm

June 29th, 2012, 1:14 pm #2

OH, they are coming out of the chrysalis!! Beautiful!

Those are amazing facts!! My thoughts about the mating one, "sheesh, give her some time!" But none the less it's all amazing. I do hope they roost in your yard. What a reward that would be. I remember a few years my parents farm was on a migration route for the Monarchs. There were thousands of butterflies for days and the trees were orange. I was a teenager and that was before I had a decent camera, unfortunately. But to be albe to walk around in the yard and they were thick like gnats was so wonderful. My dad wondered if it had to to with those years that I raised many Monarchs.

Thanks for posting pictures.
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Joined: September 20th, 2005, 6:23 pm

June 30th, 2012, 2:54 am #3

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

Zebra longwings are known for 'chrysalis rape' of the poor females - they haven't even emerged, and they're already being mated! But it's normal for them, and they've survived doing it that way for a long time! I've seen male gulf frits fluttering around gulf frit chrysalides waiting for the females to emerge, then mate with them as soon as they're out, before they're even dry! I always felt sorry for the females!

Your zebras are just beautiful - congrats, congrats, Becky!!

Sherry
Zone8/9
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Joined: January 26th, 2008, 10:36 pm

June 30th, 2012, 5:18 am #4

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

Linsey - Maybe the Monarchs did come because of your raising them! LOL! I've never seen a lot of Monarchs at one time. Sounds like you really got a show that year! Sounds wonderful!

Sherry - I had read that too about the ZLW males mating with the female while she was still in the chrysalis. They don't waste no time apparently!

I released quite a few butterflies today from the portable garden. There were 8 ZLW butterflies, 7 BST, 2 Gulf Frits, and a Monarch. I was shocked at all the butterflies flying around in the screened cage when I went out after work! Took me a while to get them all out. I later found a couple of the ZLWs dead in the grass and also a Monarch. Not sure if they were any of the butterflies I'd just released or what? I may keep them in another cage for an additional day before releasing them. I am worried that the portable garden cage may be getting too hot inside for the newly emerging butterflies. But maybe that's not the problem. Maybe I released them too soon. I don't know. I've never had that happen before. I hope the rest survived!

Here is a photo of 4 ZLW on my hand. I was putting them on my hand so that I could hang them up in a short tree nearby. But they wound up flying away!



~Becky~

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Joined: September 20th, 2005, 6:23 pm

June 30th, 2012, 2:18 pm #5

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

That's amazing, Becky!

Sherry
Zone8/9
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Joined: January 26th, 2008, 10:36 pm

July 1st, 2012, 3:52 am #6

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

Sherry - I think it's pretty amazing too! Especially since I've never raised and released ZLW butterflies before! They are such unique butterflies. Very different from any others I've raised.

In desperation, I contacted Edith from Shady Oak Butterfly Farm. I found 5 more dead ZLW butterflies in the cage today. I was gone all morning and didn't get home until around 2 pm. I was very concerned to see more dead butterflies. Her response was:

"Zebras need more humidity and shade than any other butterfly we raise. Try
adding more shade, lots more, and a wet sponge to the emerging bin IF you
think humidity could be a problem." And she also wrote at the end of her reply email:
"Dehydration killed more of ours than anything. They emerge fine then a
short while later; dead."

So that gave me the information I was seeking. I am doing things differently now. Unfortunately, most of the ZLW butterflies have already emerged that were in the outside garden bin. But ... I do have about 20 more inside in a smaller cage that are in air conditioning. One emerged today and is doing fine. I added a small lid with a damp paper towel in it to that cage. I added a bowl with a wet sponge as she suggested in the outdoor butterfly garden cage to help keep the humidity high inside the cage. I can't move the cage to a shady spot because the host plants in that bin will die. They need sunlight to grow and thrive. I've decided to start a second butterfly garden bin just for ZLW caterpillars. I have a nice sized Passiflora suberosa that does well in mostly shade so will transplant it into the new cage and put all caterpillars I find in that cage instead of the sunny cage. Live and learn. It was a bummer I lost so many perfect little ZLW butterflies before I realized what I did wrong. So if you raise ZLW butterflies, keep this information in mind if you raise them in outdoor cages!

~Becky~

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Joined: January 26th, 2008, 10:36 pm

July 4th, 2012, 5:20 am #7

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

Good news! The ZLW butterflies that have emerged indoors are doing great. No more fatalities! I've been releasing them in the early morning or right at dusk when it is cooler. I place them on the host plants that are growing in my yard. I saw some more ZLWs flying around near that area as I released 5 tonight. AND ... I found more baby ZLW caterpillars on the host vines! Naturally, I took a cutting of the plant with the babies and brought it inside! I am still planning to create a new cage just for the ZLW caterpillars and will place it in a shady area of my yard. I love these butterflies! I think they've become my next favorite after the Monarchs.

It's amazing that the ZLW butterflies can live up to 6 months! That is the best reason for raising them!

You can never have enough butterflies or host plants!
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Joined: September 20th, 2005, 6:23 pm

July 4th, 2012, 4:00 pm #8

I was reading up on the Zebra Longwing butterflies. I may have goofed by raising them in cages when it concerns their mating habits. (Hopefully hand-reared butterflies still mate!)

This particular butterfly is quite an interesting species.

Quoted from this websitehttp://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Florida/ ... gwing.html

"This butterfly is characterized by long black wings with distinctive thin stripes and a slow, graceful flight. It makes a creaking sound when alarmed. Zebra longwings feed on nectar and pollen (the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species)."

I had NO idea they live that long! That is amazing!!!!

Also got this info from this websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconius_charithonia

"Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening."

With all the ones that I am currently raising, that would be so cool to see them roosting somewhere in or near my yard at night!

And this was another very interesting bit of info, though I am hoping that raising them in cages doesn't mess up their natural mating habitshttp://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec ... harithonia

"Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males."

Here is a photo of two ZLW butterflies that I released today. I can't tell the male from the female, so I have no idea what gender I'm releasing. I just hope they produce lots more babies!



I have probably 30 or so ZLW chrysalises right now! This is the first time I've ever raised them! I am so excited!

Here are just a few of them in a smaller cage.

That's great, Becky!

I've always heard that zebras lay their eggs on passionvines in the shade, whereas gulf frits like the sun. I guess they were trying to tell us something?

Sherry
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