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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cabbage White Butterflies (at last)

Remember our caterpillars from last September?
Well, guess what has happened to them?

Today teacher and her own kids went to school to water the school gardens.  They took a look at our butterfly garden, and to their amazement and delight, two of the cocoons have opened, and there were two beautiful white butterflies flying around.  They took the butterflies home, took lots of photos, then released the butterflies into the wild (they wouldn't survive a week in the net, they need to be free in this lovely weather!)

Looking at our moth

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
 We all had a good look at our moth today.  It started as a little green caterpillar, then became a dark brown cocoon and is now a brown and grey moth.  We love looking at it, and feeding it fresh oranges and water.

A friend for Inchy

November 10th, 2010
Inchy our inchworm has been looking a little sad and lonely.  Teacher found a green caterpillar to keep him company.  We hope they will be friends as caterpillars, and later as butterflies or moths.

Caterpillars in cocoons

29th October, 2010
Well, no news on this front.  Teacher continues to provide delicious cabbage leaves, grass and other assorted leaves, and raindrops for all meals.  The caterpillars are happily snoozing in their cocoons.  The parasitic wasp eggs look much the same as ever, and Inchy the inchworm misses all the kids in our class and can't wait to go back to school on Monday!

Eggs from the caterpillar?

Monday, September 27th, 2010
Our caterpillars seem to have laid eggs!!! We have cabbage white caterpillars in school. We feed them cabbage leaves, and sprinkle the leaves with a little water each day. The caterpillars seem very happy in their new home. Some of the caterpillars seem to have laid eggs (we didn't know they could do that! we thought it was the butterfly that lays the eggs). Anyway, we are waiting patiently for some cocoons, then butterflies. We hope it's not too cold for them these days.
After some searching on the internet, teacher discovered that caterpillars can't lay eggs!
The answer seems to be that the eggs are injected into them by a parasitic wasp which hatch then eat the caterpillar from the inside out before crawling out (they really look like eggs!) We will have to keep a good watch on these eggs and see what happens!
Check out this article for more information

Cabbage White Caterpillars