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Insect keeping and ecological concern


14 Dec 2021
Hi everyone,

So I’ve been keeping butterfly, moth and beetles (mainly swallowtail and Daphnis spp.) for many years now, and I just concern about something I’ve never give a thought about it before.

So, normally I would collect caterpillas from the nearby jungle, take care of it until it reach adult and released it back, 95% of it often survive. The question is, Would this cause ecological damage? considering in the nature, only few eggs survive. And other animal also need to eat those to survive as well?
How may are you rearing and releasing?

I would have thought you would need to be in the multiple 1000's to have any ecological impact.
About 40ish moth a time, 2 times a year.

I doubt that's even a drop in the proverbial Ocean in terms of ecological impact - a couple of extra evening meals for a bat perhaps?

The fact that you are releasing the adults should also mean you are counteracting the collection of the caterpillas also, assuming at least a couple of them manage to reproduce.

I don't think you have anything to lose sleep over.
If what you're raising and releasing is native to the habitat (which I assume it is as they're collected locally) then I can't see an issue. Here, we have a bit of an issue with people buying caterpillars to raise then release which are not native but can be occasional visitors. These are then caught during surveys and skew the data on what is migrating over naturally. Plus, some of these are a great way to introduce pathogens to an environment that is previously free from them.
Keep helping the insects :) plant their larval food plants in your garden (if you have one) and you'll help even more of them ;)
I would have thought for the numbers you mentioned your having absolutely no affect on the wild. When you consider how many there are out there that kind of figure doesn't even register.