Things to do when taking care of the butterflies
The keys of the glasshouses are on the coat rack in the Genetics and Evolutionary Biology building.
1. Collect old feeders and wash them with hot water (in the dirty room). If feeders have small lumps of sugar and look dirty, make a deeper cleaning with sterilising solution (blue “Milton” bottle under the sink, follow instructions).
2. Fill clean and dry feeders with new butterfly sugar solution, which is in the fridge in the dirty room. In case you need to make more, the recipe per litre of water is: 10% sugar and 4 teaspoons of amino acid powder (ingredients under the sink).
3. Besides the feeders with new solution, it’s also necessary to put some bouquets with Lantana flowers in each cage with adults.
4. Put at least one feeder in the larval/pupal cages (if pupas present) in case of them emerges.
5. Each cage with H. melpomene adults must have at least one plant of Passiflora menispermifolia with nice shoots to lay eggs. Since there are few plants of this species, any first instar larva found on them has to be moved to a plant of Passiflora biflora in the larval/pupal cage of the respective race. Small larvae eat small and fresh leaves. Try not to put several larvae in the same shoot or leave and definitely, never put small larvae close to big ones (they would eat them!!)
REMEMBER: P. menispermifolia IS ONLY FOR LAYING EGGS IN H. melpomene ADULT CAGES AND THERE SHOULD NOT BE ANY OF THIS PLANT IN THE LARVAL CAGES.
6.If there is any cage with other Heliconius species (likely erato) they lay and eat P. biflora.
7. If no P. menispermifolia is available for laying eggs of H. melpomene, it can be replaced by P. biflora (though this is not optimal).
8. Both for adult and larval/pupal cages, change old sad looking plants with new ones to help them recover.
9. Make sure plants are not dried or overwatered.