We have had these chrysalis’s since fall and now one of them has become a butterfly! I think it’s a swallowtail. When can I let them outside without fear of them dying right away? Until I’m able to release them how best can I care for them? Thanks!
Anoka County Minnesota chrysalis
The type of butterfly you have is a male black swallowtail. It is Minnesota’s most common swallowtail. Congratulations on your butterfly raising. First of all, do not release your swallowtail outside at this time. It will immediately die. The outside temperature needs to be around 60 degrees with no rain or moisture at the time of release. Since adult swallowtails have a lifespan of two to three weeks, it is unlikely that it will live long enough to be released outside. If perchance another swallowtail emerges and it is a female, you may be so incredibly lucky that they will mate and lay eggs. If a female does emerge, put sprigs of parsley, dill, or fennel in the container as this is the type of plant on which eggs are laid. For the time being it will be necessary to feed your butterfly. This usually consists of a mixture of honey and water placed on a paper towel. There are other possibilities as well. The following sites will provide you further information about black swallowtails including feeding instructions:
Good Luck and enjoy your creature from nature!!