Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Painted Lady Butterflies

We eagerly anticipated the arrival of our Painted Lady Butterflies (from insectlore) for days.  Ethan checked the mailbox multiple times a day, delighted with the thought of caterpillars in the mail.  After ages (or rather, the 3-5 business days we were expecting) our five new friends had arrived.

We named them all: Spikey, Frosted Spikey--his/her spikes were silverish--, Tiny, Sleepy and Bubba.  We checked in frequently for several days as they ate and ate and grew and grew.  Soon we noticed that Tiny was much tinier than the rest, though he was still moving around a bit.  One sad day, Tiny disappeared (are caterpillars cannibals?  We decided that is a research project for another day).

But the others kept eating and growing.

One day we noticed Spikey hanging upside down in their little cup.  Before long the rest of the crew had joined him.  By the next day, they were all ensconced. We watched the chrysalises intently, waiting for any sign of movement.

We were surprised today to see two beautiful butterflies drying their wings inside the mesh enclosure.  We are still waiting for the other two to emerge.

In the meantime, enjoy this short video of Ellie and Ethan explaining our project.  I love Ethan's attempts to say "proboscis".  (I'm pretty sure he's mixing proboscis and chrysalis.)

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