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Ever raised Wild Indigo Duskywings?

14 years ago

I know they're a fairly plain looking butterfly (skipper), but I was wondering if anyone on here has ever tried raising them. I received some Baptisia australis seeds in the seed exchange last year, wintersowed them, and now have a bunch of plants that I still didn't get around to planting in the ground. In the process of moving various plants off the porch, on the porch, off the porch, etc. I guess I must have at least had those outside one time because I noticed last evening that one of the indigo plants looked stripped at the top. I've been so busy with plants that it's a wonder I even noticed it. The top couple sets of leaves are missing and I noticed that leaves below that looked eaten. Lo and behold, a caterpillar must have sewn two leaves together because they looked to be in a clump. I peeked inside and there it was, a cute WID cat! I don't know how long they get at their biggest but this one looks to be about an inch long.

Okay, now I'm not sure what I should do with it now that I found it. Would it be better off leaving it on the plant and planting the plant outside? Or should I keep the plant indoors even though the plant isn't very big and it soon will probably have it all eaten. I have other plants that I could feed it which aren't very big either. How long does it take these cats to pupate? I'm thinking that maybe this particular kind of a cat is especially slow to develop because I don't think I've had that plant outside for maybe a month, so either it's a month-old or more cat or else a WID butterfly sneaked in on our screened in back porch and laid an egg on that plant, which I highly doubt. If anyone has successfully raised these, I really would appreciate some advice. Even if you haven't and can tell me what to do, I'd like that too. I like to bring in butterfly cats when I can, but if this might be another tricky one like I found out on here that the AL can be, I think I'd rather put it outside and wish it well.


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