Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Low and 0-cost ideas for raising lepidoptera. Be Green - recycle!
Butterfly and Moth Site
These are made from carboard cans which originally contianed powdered food
and drink mixes. They are typically about 5" in diameter and can be from
6" to 12" tall. The bottoms are usually metal or carboard, with a metal
rim around the top and a plastic lid.
They are great for housing pupae while waiting for them to emerge, or even
rearing small larvae. The window on the side allows for easy viewing if the
can is placed on a shelf near a light source. The same idea could be applied
to square containers or even boxes with lids.
To start construction, cut small "windows" out of opposite sides of the
can, smaller than those shown. Gradually make them larger while checking
to make sure there is enough of the can left between the windows and
below the rim to support the lid. The can should have a metal rim where
the lid snaps-on, which should help stiffen the top. If you cut away too
much of the sides, or too close to the rim, the top of the can will bend
down whenever the lids is pressed into place. I've found that about 1/2"
below the rim, and 3" between the windows works well. Still you will
have to be careful when pressing the lid into place.
Clear plastic wrap can then be cut to shape and taped around the edges
to make the windows. If you are careful, you can make the windows
wrinkle-free and very clear for viewing. It might take a couple of tries
until you get the hang of it. It's somewhat of an art form!
The size and shape of the windows is up to you. You'll get the best
viewing and ease of use if you can make the windows as square and large
as possible while maintaining the strength integrity of the upper part
of the can itself. The pictures should provide a good visual representation.