To Actias members with Papilio species

  • No it’s too sticky.

    It could get stuck on there proboscis.

    OK, but if I look for the recipe fot hummingbird…hummingbird-nectar-recipe it is just white sugar with water 1:4 and I guess more importent thing will be the proportion as the same with honey or sirup for example .

    The best nutrition would be collect pure nectar from flowers what is not easy and needs a lot of time.

  • Hi Brunschi,

    it was already discussed that honey, this includes also maple syrup and other artificial food for butterflies might stuck in the proboscis. So it makes no sense to present any food which finally will kill the butterfly. The best for butterflies is what they will get in the wild and this is mostly water from the bottom, stones, river bank. I would say that mineral water will be ok to keep the butterfly alife for a time. If they are able to suck liquid fruit sugar later (from bananas or pineapple) this should be perfect.


  • @ Ulrich

    I dont think so. Its depending of the genus we speek . Some Nymphalidae maybe need less but Papilionidae are flower visiters and need sugar in small amount and nectar is a power food contains sugar like glucose and fructose.

    They need water and salt (electrolyte ) too but also needed is sugar for energie and longer live.

  • Many nymphalids need a high sugar and calorie diet.

    Take anglewings (Polygonia & Nymphalis) for example. They eat sugary fruit of the ground. They need this to hibernate.

    Also Calgo and Morpho need lots of energy.

    You see the males drinking from river banks because they need the nutrients to reproduce.

    Also, why does it seem like pierids, lycanidae, and hespiridae are very hard come by?

  • All that may be true, but sugar has no nutritional value at all. Just calories. Natural sugars in fruit, are going to

    be much different than processed sugar.

    I spend twice as much on my hummingbird food that has electrolytes in it, look at the ingredients for

    the cheap stuff- it's sugar water.

    I've mentioned, but never tried a fluid like "gatorade" that might provide some value- just a thought, I haven't

    tried it, butterflies are nice to look at for me, harder to raise.

    Food plant, and habits of the adults are going to be the factors of livestock availability.

  • Do you mean can honey do that? I don't know. I'm sure the electrolyte nectar works though, I used it

    with good results for two Papilio species, keeping them, hand pairing, and egg laying.

    I never used anything else, it's probably best to feed them something as close to natural as possible,

    Nymphalids feed on rotted fruit, I'm not sure about Papilios.

    Your experience using honey, would give a good argument that honey kills, your butterflies did seem to

    have a reaction that a poison might produce. Just like if a person ate a food they were allergic to.

  • Absolutly no problem with honey and Papilios at all. To be true I am making mix of honey, sugar and water. Because honey contains mainly "quick sugars" like glucose and fructose, while sugar contain mainly "long-last" sucrose. I am using 1:10 dilution which is milder than usually recommended. Tried also addition of minerals, but after numerous attempts and sources it has no impact on fertility, hatching ratio or lenght of life. There are also some scientific articles about males minerals absorption from damp sand and benefits are unknown. On other side already proven is importance of aminoacids and specific proteins which is present in nectar, especially for ovipositing females. Also when I exchanged "normal" honey for raw untreated bio-honey there was significant raise of fertility ( about 20% ). On other side, man must be extremely careful with such honey because risk of bacterial infection if dilution is abandoned in room temperature for 2-3 days. Bacterial infection is visible by bloated abdomen of butterfly even without drinking and butterfly usually die within 1-2 days.

    True is I never buying sugar in markets, but only from original beekeepers. Contamination is of course possible, anyway I doubt in such scale it can cause death during few hours.

    I saw some (exotic?) plants inside cage - take it away, just to be safe.

  • @ Ulrich

    I dont think so. Its depending of the genus we speek . Some Nymphalidae maybe need less but Papilionidae are flower visiters and need sugar in small amount and nectar is a power food contains sugar like glucose and fructose.

    They need water and salt (electrolyte ) too but also needed is sugar for energie and longer live.

    Hallo Brunschi,

    Mein Kommentar bezog sich auf Papilio und warum die Falter nach Schlupf bei Ethan verstorben sein könnten. Wenn ich denen den Rüssel mit Honig und Sirup verklebe, können die kein Wasser zu sich nehmen. Ich halte mineralhaltiges Wasser für ebenso notwendig wie oder sogar notwendiger als Nektar. Habe genügend Papilio in freier Natur am Wasser saugend beobachten können, aber selten an Blumen. Deshalb war meine Idee gewesen, den Faltern zuesrt Mineralwasser zu geben. Ich war vor 2 Jahren in einem Butterfly Park auf Java mit reichlich Papilio und anderen Tagfaltern, die täglich mit frischem Material aus dem Freiland kommend ausgetauscht werden mussten weil sie nicht lange überlebten. Warum??? Blüten / Blumen waren reichlich vorhanden, aber keine einzige Wasserstelle oder feuchte Stelle am Boden. Was die Falter brauchen oder mögen sollten die sich selber aussuchen können: Wasser oder schwache Zuckerlösung. Anbei 3 Bilder von Sumatra (Flusslandschaft, die Pieriden saugten an Büffel-Urin) und Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur (Papilio auf einem feuchten Stein). Die Papilio saugten Wasser, obwohl reichlich Blüten vorhanden waren. Die gleiche Art saugte aber auch an überreifem Obst (Fruchtzucker). Es muss also nicht unbedingt Nektar sein.



  • Hallo Ihr,

    habe keinerlei Erfahrung im Halten von Tagfaltern in Flugbehältern oder so, aber etliche Freilanderfahrung.

    1. auch die Papilio - Arten (wie eigentlich fast alle Tagfalter) besuchen Blüten und / oder überreifes Obst => Zucker als Energielieferant

    2. fast alle Tagfalter benötigen zusätzlich Wasser und vor allem Mineralstoffe.

    Habe oftmals erlebt, dass Falter meine Schweiß getrunken haben; meine verschwitze Mütze voll saß. Um so stinkiger die Brühe (Tierhaltung / Abfluss sanitäre Anlagen) um so vielfältiger und dichter der Besatz und die Artenzahl (Thailand / CR). In Deutschland saßen mal ca. 25 Schillerfalter auf eine ehemaligen Feuerstelle und haben an der nassen Holzkohle gesaugt.

    Je nach Vorlieben der Arten kann dies auch als Köder verwendet werden. Habe meine Eisvögel und Schillerfalter mit stinkigem Käse und feuchten Pferdeäpfeln angelockt.

    In den Tropen habe ich Fleisch- und Fischreste ausgelegt. Solange die Ameisen nicht schneller waren => bester Köder für viele Arten z.B. auch Charaxes . Eigentlich sehr schwer zu fangen, auf diesem Köder wie besoffen.

    Kurz gesagt. Wie schon von Ulrich richtig gesagt, die Tiere brauchen nicht nur Süßes (Nektar etc.) sondern vor allem Mineralien und Salz.

    Bei einer "blühenden" Landschaft (in den Tropen oft in der Gipfelregion der Bäume) ist das Süße nicht das Problem; für die Mineralien muss man aber i.d.R. auf den Boden.

    In diesem Zusammenhang: Ich habe auch den "thailändischen Hummelschwärmer" (den Name fällt mir gerade nicht ein) tagsüber aus Pfützen trinken gesehen.

    Die Falter flogen (kein Rütteln) mit ausgefahrenem Rüssel immer wieder über kleiner Pfützen und haben getrunken.

    Soviel mal wieder aus der Abteilung entomologisches "Jägerlatein"

    PS: Thailand in Anfang Oktober; sehr feuchtwarm; Waldweg. Ein großer Charaxes setzt sich auch den Arm meine Frau und trinkt Schweiß. Schau. Schau. voller Freude meine Frau.

    Mein Kommentar: "Du musst aber kuschlich riechen, normalerweise geht die Art auch Aas", wurde nicht sehr freundlich kommentiert. Ca. 5 min später saß einer auf meiner Kappe.

  • Hi Everyone!


    Well I’m not sure honey kills them.

    This is really the first time anything happens to them.

    I will try humming bird electrolytes.


    I really don’t know any more.

    Your suggestion about bloating and dilution all matches the symptoms of the butterfly except the honey was fresh.

    Also, the plants should be fine because I have had them for a while, but when this happened in November, there were no p,ants in there.

    In my opinion, butterflies need a balance of everything. Especially the males for reproduction but also the females to lay there eggs. Papilios prefer nectar and mineral water over rotting fruit. Same with pierids. Nymphalids like Charaxes need fresh fruit but also mineral water. Now my only question to you all is how do at get mineral water and how do I give it to my swallowtails?


    I just saw my 2 other Papilio maackii chrysalis turning a color. They will hatch soon and I need to clear this up.

  • Now my only question to you all is how do at get mineral water and how do I give it to my swallowtails?

    just take non-carbonated mineral water (for babys) and dissolve some fructose and dextrose in it.....

    mash a banana and pour some of the solution over it. You can also hollow out a piece of banana with a teaspoon and put some of it inside.


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