Deb Buchner

Langley library bookworms eagerly wanting larvae grow

Painted lady larvae are growing at Langley City’s library branch.

Bugs are usually unwelcome guests in libraries where they cause damage to books but the Langley City public library is a temporary home to some soon-to-be butterflies.

The library is nursing caterpillars which will become painted lady butterflies and will be released in Douglas Park June 24.

Deb Buchner, the circulation supervisor, said the is one of a handful of local libraries that have done the butterfly project and it’s garnering a lot of interest.

The tiny crawlers, 36 in all, were introduced to the community at a packed event June 3 at which 90 kids and adults learned about their lifecycles.

Kim Sutton owns FlutterBuys butterfly release business in Langley which supplied the larvae. She said given the controlled conditions, 32 to 36 are expected to survive and turn into butterflies. That’s very different than in nature.

“In the wild it’s one per cent from egg to adult butterfly,” she explained.

The caterpillars are kept in containers at the front counter where the public is stopping by to see their progress.

The bugs arrived at the library about a week old. They will be caterpillars for up to two weeks before they start hanging in a J-shape. That signals that they are going into their next phase of life – the chrysalis.

That’s when they are transforming into butterflies.

This stage, depending on room temperature, will take eight to 14 days.

About 24 hours before the butterflies emerge, the chysalides will turn black.

The butterflies will emerge and hang upside down to dry their wings.

Kids can sign up for the June 24 event when the painted ladies will be released in Douglas Park.

The butterflies have a lifespan of about two weeks.

Call the library at 604-514-2850 to book for the release.

Sutton sells butterfly larvae all over B.C. and much of Alberta, limited by shipping live insects. Her business is a flurry of activity for a short period, the butterfly’s busy season.

“We do about 4,000 larvae a week, probably for eight weeks,” she said.

Pretty much every culture has myths, stories and poems about butterflies, unlike other insects.

“I guess they’re kind of magical,” she said. “I’ve heard them called flying flowers. There’s something that really catches people. There’s something about the beauty and the mystery of the butterfly.”

Just Posted

Rebuilding plan seeks funding for Langley Lions housing

The Birch building could be torn down and rebuilt larger than before.

Glow festivities in Langley expand to include fall show

Langley nursery transforms greenhouses for a new fall festival of lights, pumpkins, and family fun.

BMX racing takes Langley barista to World Cup in Argentina

Drew Mechielsen encourages other girls to get involved in riding, whether competitive or not.

Apple heritage celebrated with Langley’s heritage apples

An annual party, in which families pay homage to the fruit, is on tap for Saturday at Derby Reach.

Fort Langley to hold all-candidates meeting

A forum in the village includes Township of Langley school trustee, council, and mayoral candidates.

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Most Read