Overwintering Techniques > Alpine Overwintering Technique

Utah butterfly collector Jacque Wolfe devised the alpine overwintering technique which satisfies the three important criteria of overwintering—that butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and pupae be provided airflow, humidity, and protection. Immatures are placed inside squat tubs that have tens of thousands of needle holes. These "holy containers" are placed inside either a screen-riveted five gallon bucket or a heavy duty screen cage. This setup is found in a high elevation Utah mountain bog where plenty of winter snow provides more or less constant humidity.

This method especially accommodates sensitive immatures such as Lycaenid ova, Limenitis hibernacula, Melitaeinae half-grown larvae, and especially unfed Speyeria and Cercyonis first instar larvae.

Please remember that this technique is more principle-driven than method-driven. In other words, Jacque was innovative in deciding to overwinter sensitive immatures in holy squat tubs, hanging in screened five gallon buckets over alpine bogs in the tops of the mountains of Utah. However, you yourself can create a setup that satisfies the same criteria with a completely different methodology. Simply remember the three main criteria, that immatures need humidity (to avoid dessication), airflow (to avoid mold), and protection from predators.