So, as you may have surmised, one of our homeschool projects as of late has been the rearing of caterpillars. Painted Lady Butterfly larvae, to be exact. Like most modern butterflies, the six little larvae arrived early one morning via FedEx.
Inside their little plastic tub, they raced around on a very thick layer of something akin to bacon grease (minus the smell). We’re still not quite sure what that stuff is, but they ate (and pooped) it voraciously.
With all that digestion going on, they grew by leaps and bounds and now a week and a half later, they have each moved to the chrysalis stage. For those of you who are as ignorant as I when it comes to butterflies, the chrysalis is formed after the caterpillar attaches itself to the top of the container (or a leaf/branch/stem) and then hangs upside down and seems dormant. After a few days, it then “wakes up,” wriggles around fiercely and peels off its caterpillar skin to reveal the smooth chrysalis underneath.
At any rate, our last guy formed his chrysalis last night, so this morning, we’ve moved them from their container to the flight cage we built.
Despite our careful cleaning of their plastic tub, only half of our brood made it to the chrysalis stage. It was all very sad, but we are hopeful there will be no more casualties.
Since I can see that you are captivated, I’ll keep you posted about these little guys’ progress.