July 20, 2007

The Very Hungry Caterpillars

A very hungry caterpillar munches on Milkweed.
To do this project be sure to actually dig up a milkweed, dirt, roots and all and place in a pot. So long as the milkweed stays alive, the caterpillar will stay on the Milkweed. We have done this project many times and have only learned this by trial and error.

Getting bigger... munch... munch...

Apparently very full, the caterpillar looks for a good place to make his chyrysalis. This stage is called pupation

The caterpillar has just about completed his chrysalis and there is a very hungry second caterpillar!

As you can see the very hungry second caterpillar ate the leaf the first chrysalis is attached to right down to the skeleton. A nearly fully eaten Milkweed isn't a pretty sight. So here you can see both chrysalis (what is the plural?!) hanging together.

Incidentally the very green leafy plant behind the bald milkweed is an Avacado plant. Several years ago we had a philadendron that Sam started when he was in first grade from a clipping. We planted it in a pot and it grew pretty nicely. One day this other *thing* came up. It looked interesting so I left it. In time we started asking over dinner what it was and Sam grinned and said "I planted an avacado pit in the pot". It seems to like us so we keep it, kind of more like a pet than a plant!

Butterfly just out of its chrysalis, one more to hatch.... or so we thought!

Several days later Frodo found this under the dining table! Apparently a caterpillar had escaped.

After a bit of a search, we discovered the empty chrysalis attached to the beam in the corner by the dining room table!

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