UPDATE! All the butterflies have emerged! See below...
Creepy Crawly Caterpillars
Every year we usually have real caterpillars in the classroom as part of our learning about spring, growing and changing. This year, so that you don't miss out on the magic of metamorphosis, we have the caterpillars at home. When they arrived they were super tiny, about the size of the white bit on the end of my little finger nail! They ate, crawled, slept, ate some more and then formed their chyrsalis'. After two weeks they started to emerge...we had five beautiful, painted-lady butterflies! Take a look below at the story of their journey!
If video does not appear above, click on this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPmbd7WvIUw
And then it was time to say goodbye!
Sadly, we had to let the butterflies go and explore the world. We enjoyed a few minutes of them fluttering around us before they all fluttered off, but who knows, maybe they will pop back for a visit on a sunny day. We hope you have enjoyed watching the magical journey from caterpillar to butterfly...maybe you could find out about the life-cycle of another creature?
We have one butterfly! Already christened 'Ben the Butterfly' by my boys, our first butterfly has emerged from it's chrysalis! (Sorry that the video is in portrait mode - it turns out it's harder to film a butterfly than first thought!)
Hopefully our other butterflies won't be far behind...can you think of any other 'b' names we could call them?
The chrysalis' are moved to their new home.
All the chrysalis' are formed, so it's time to take off the lid and move them.
The caterpillars spent two week in their chrysalis'! While we did not see much happening on the outside, amazing transformations were taking place inside!
The caterpillars have been busy eating and growing A LOT over the last few days! They are roughly six times bigger than they were when they first arrived and have started to make a real mess of their little home!
Can you see how hairy they are now?
Can you spot the little white markings along their bodies?
Can you see the little brown balls in the pot? What do you think it might be? Yes! It is frass - caterpillar poo!
The fine threads you can see are a fine, silky webbing that the caterpillars make. In the wild they use this webbing to protect themselves, using it to stick to the plants they like to eat so they don't get blown away! They have special hooks on their front legs which they use to climb along the webbing, a bit like us climbing up a ladder.