Zebra Longwing Cage - Zone 1
The habitat you are entering holds our state butterfly, the Zebra Longwing. Most butterflies have a two week lifespan, but the Zebra Longwing can live up to a month! There are a handful of species that can live up to a couple of months. At night, these butterflies will group up and sleep next to each other. You can find them sleeping in a pack hanging from moss or tree branches.
While the host plant for the Zebra Longwing is the Passion Vine, at our farm, we have found they also will lay eggs on Bat Wing by Flora, Super Rosa, and Incarnata. The nectar plants they prefer are Lantana (yellow flower) and Bidens (white flower). You will notice two cuttings of their host plant propped in the air. Those are to promote egg laying. In the wild, the Zebra Longwing would seek to lay their eggs in a shaded place. In this controlled environment, they will instead come and lay their eggs on the tendrils of the cuttings we have propped up. If you take a close look, you can see little yellow eggs all clumped together at the ends of the plant. Once a new day has begun, we will swap out these cups with fresh cuttings, and take the newly laid eggs into the breeding room to start their growth from egg to butterfly.
Look closely! While this cage primarily houses Zebra Longwing butterflies, we do have other species of butterflies that reside here from time to time as well. Can you spot the Queen and Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies?