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

Langley community dinner for ‘all walks of life’

Langley local Stacey Wakelin is hosting a community dinner that caters to everyone.

Police dog helps apprehend ‘prolific’ property crime offender near Surrey, Langley border

Douglas Holmes, 47, has been charged with break and enter of a business on the Langley Bypass

VIDEO: Burglars bust windows and loot Brookswood stores

Thieves have hit two Brookswood stores in commercial burglaries in the last month.

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

Most Read