Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pets for a week...or three

When we lived in Oregon, my dear friend, Molly, had this genius idea to let her kids raise caterpillars.  So, two years later, home schooling brought this memory back to me, and thanks to Amazon, the idea was brought to fruition.
The caterpillars arrived in this container with all the food they would need to form their chrysalis/cocoon and become Painted Lady Butterflies.
They started out teeny-tiny.  Seriously small.
But all day long, all they did was eat, poop, and spin silk.  So, pretty soon, they were big, fat caterpillars.

If I'm completely honest, after about a week of them doin' their business in that container, I couldn't stand to look at them...it just looked unsanitary to me...silk and poop and they just kept eating around it all.  I kinda think just finding a caterpillar outside and giving it natural stuff to eat, like leaves and what not, would be a better idea (for me) next time.
Anyway, after about 8 days, they crawled to the top of the container and hung themselves upside down...this part of the process was so AMAZING.  Something that we observed was that all the caterpillars heads fell off!!!  That's right, they lost their heads.  When the first head fell, we all freaked out a little...thought we'd lost one of our pets halfway through the process...but then the other four caterpillars lost their heads too!  K.  Guess that's just how they roll.

And after about 8 more days, they emerged from their cocoons with their heads at THE OTHER END!  What the???  We kept them in our little butterfly habitat for a couple days, feeding them watermelon, oranges and sugar water, and then decided to release them.

Best pets ever.  Three weeks of entertainment and then they were gone.  :)


Melanie said...

That is so COOL! seriously I want to do that! rad. rad.

Sharee and Arthur said...

Cool, Jen! I did not know caterpillars heads fall off. weird! But very cool that you guys did that!