Lepidopteran pollinators for Phlox

Phlox species are not pollinated by bees.  Seed production in our accessions of Phlox require the availability of butterflies in order to achieve pollination under controlled conditions.  Since butterflies cannot be readily purchase for use, we investigated protocols to rear and deploy cabbage white butteflies and American painted ladies to achieve pollination.  We were successful in rearing the butterflies, although it was a challenging activity, but we encountered difficulties in the production and harvesting of Phlox seed.  Until such seed-production details can be optimized, we are holding off further butterfly rearing.  At present, seed production in Phlox is done by open pollination.