Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Butterfly and Moth Site
A super easy sleeving method for cuttings.
When it comes to keeping larvae on host cuttings, there isn't a much
simpler method than the "easy sleeve" method shown below. This works
particularly well for larvae which are larger than 1/2" although with
care, even small 1st instar larvae may be safely reared this way.
The setup is simple - an empty bottle is filled with water and the host
cuttings are placed into it. IMPORTANT: Make sure that the stalks fit
tightly through the bottle top or the larvae will wander down into the
water and drown. This will also prevent frass from falling into and
contaminating the water supply. If there aren't enough host cuttings to
tightly fill the bottle opening, cut some bare stalks, stems, or even
stuff some cloth into the gaps to completely fill the opening. This is
particularly important with small larvae. Larger, 4th or 5th instar
larvae should be large enough so that only large gaps would be a
problem. Beware that larvae will sometimes squeeze through fairly small
holes for no particular reason (just to see what's on the other side!).
Once the host is packed tightly into the bottle, it can be fed - bottle
first - into the sleeve. Just below the bottle mouth and threads is a
The larvae can then be placed into the sleeve and the top of the sleeve
tied. If you leave enough extra sleeve at the top, the whole assembly
can be hung by it with a strong clamp or clip to provide a convenient
way to store the sleeve while the larvae grow.
To make filling the water bottle easier, I drilled a small hole (about
3/16" dia.) just below the the threads where the sleeve is tied, so that
I can refill the bottle with a pointed-tip squeeze bottle. This allows
refilling without having to remove the sleeve. The picture below shows
the whole assembly... (5-25-2006