The Painted Lady caterpillars have arrived
On Monday the caterpillars arrived. In 3 days they have already doubled in size. They are eating a special food that is made from the leaves they like to eat. There are some black bits lying around on the bottom. Do you know what this is?
Caterpillar Update 1
Caterpillar Update 2
What has changed? Have a good look at the caterpillars today. We have had them for 1 week. Can you see the caterpillar eating the food?
Caterpillar Update 3
Caterpillar Update 4
Well as you can see the caterpillars have shed their last skin and are now in a chrysalis. Unfortunately we have lost 2 of the caterpillars. They did not successfully shed their skin and sadly died. Fingers crossed our 3 remaining caterpillars transform into Painted Lady Butterflies 🦋
Changes are starting to happen! How can you tell that the butterfly is getting ready to emerge?
We have a butterfly!
Butterfly 1 Release
The last 2 have emerged!
The last 2 butterflies have emerged. Look at these close up photos. What parts of the body can you see and name? They are insects so have 6 legs and 3 body parts - head, thorax and abdomen. They have 2 antennae for sensing around them. Can you see the proboscis? This is the long straw-like tongue they have to drink the nectar. They suck up the nectar through the proboscis. When they are not using it they curl it up because it is so long. You might thin k the red liquid is blood. It isn't. This is meconium. It is like a red dye that they use to pump into their wings after they emerge. The droplets are just what is left over.
On the move and ready to fly!
They are free!
Look closely at the butterfly resting on the leaf. Can you see the hairs on it's abdomen? Look even closer, can you see the eyes? They are very big for the size of the butterfly. The butterfly's wings are very delicate. They are covered in scales. If you try and catch a butterfly be careful not to touch their wings as you may damage the scales and the butterfly will not be able to fly anymore.
And then there were none!