Archive for the 'Insects' Category
I found this caterpillar in my flowerbed and I decided to put it in a jar and see what it would change into.
By the next day it had formed this cocoon. About a week or so later, I discovered this…
a painted lady butterfly. I tried to get a shot of it from the side, with it’s wings closed because the underside of the wings are as beautiful as the top side, but I couldn’t get a shot. I do love my monarchs, but this was kind of a nice change.
Last Friday I had two rebel caterpillars that somehow managed to escape. My daughter found one of them and put it back. I didn’t realize that there was another one missing until Saturday morning when I was sitting on the couch and looked to my left and saw a caterpillar hanging from a houseplant leaf. Since it was already hanging upside down, it was too late to take it off and put it back with the others, so I had to leave it. It formed a chrysalis later that day, and now I’ll have to keep a close eye on it and hope I can get the butterfly safely outside before my cats find it. The caterpillar had to go down the side of the entertainment center, cross 11 feet of floor and crawl up the side of the end table and onto the plant. Quite a trek for such a little fella.
It traveled from the far upper left to the far right.
Now we wait…
The other day, I went out to collect milkweed to feed my caterpillars and I unknowingly brought home another very tiny caterpillar. It was on the underside of the leaf and I never saw it until I was getting ready to put it in the butterfly house. I took a few shots of it with the nickel and with a full size caterpillar to show just how small it really is.
I finally got to watch a caterpillar shed it’s skin and form a chrysalis today, and of course, I got pictures too. The caterpillar will hang upside down for a day or so before it changes. The book I read said that once it’s filaments (antennae) wither, it will start shedding it’s skin in about a half hour. I noticed that one of them had withered filaments so I hung around to watch the change. The caterpillar’s outer skin splits at the bottom (it’s head) and it wiggles and moves around and pushes the skin up towards the top, where it will fall off. This stage is called “pupa”. After a few hours, this new skin hardens and is then called the chrysalis. The whole skin shedding process took 5 or 6 minutes. It will hang like this for 10-14 days, after which, a butterfly will emerge.
About 5 minutes before it started changing.
This pic and the next one were taken 2 hours later.