Friday, September 7, 2012

The Raising of Caterpillars

So last week I get a text with a picture of the cutest caterpillar from Ben; he said they were on our balcony (which is 3 stories up!) eating all of my herbs.  I told him to get them off my herbs immediately!  They had already eaten all of my parsley and were working on the chives....  Oh well.  Ben decided to use them as fish bait which was fine by me, but then I got to thinking--if those are monarch caterpillars (which is an endangered/threatened species) then we need to ID them before we kill them!

{Original picture}

We looked all over the internet, and finally, we identified them as black swallowtail caterpillars (without any doubts).  We got all of our information on the black swallowtail caterpillar/butterfly was from this source

{Black Swallowtail Female Butterfly source}

Then Ben and I started talking about the caterpillars; I had never seen one grow into a butterfly, and he admitted that he hadn't either.  Then he said that I could have one (of the three caterpillars we found) and grow it into a butterfly.  I told him he couldn't just pick and choose which one lived, and he finally gave in and let me grow all three!  He is enjoying watching them too!  (although he might not admit it)

{Unfortunately, we lost one caterpillar to natural causes after day one}

{When you touch them, horns pop out of their heads--pretty funny!  (No animals were harmed)}

{See that green pile in the bottom center?  No--it's not caterpillar poop--apparently when caterpillars are ready to morph, they empty their stomachs.  So yes--it's caterpillar vomit}

{The first caterpillar to start coccooning.  See the silks that attach the caterpillar to the lid?  It was pretty awasome to see!}

{The second caterpillar started coccooning about one day after the first!}

{Can you spot the completed coccoon?}

{Completed coccoon!}

The website says that it will be 1-2 weeks before they are done changing depending on the weather and such.  Right now it's just a waiting game!  See you in a bit with the butterflies!  We also get to find out the sex of our caterpillars!

PS--It's really the little things in life!
Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment