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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Caterpillars into cocoons in Junior infants

Four of our five caterpillars went into their cosy cocoons on Sunday night. Miss Ferguson decided that it was best to move them into their more spacious home, the lovely net tent. The last lazy caterpillar was in position (hanging upside down) but wasn't in a cocoon. We transfered them on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning he was in his chrysalis.
Now we just need to keep a close eye on Sharpy, Hairy, Slinky, Prickly and Snakey. We cannot wait to see their beautiful butterfly colours.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nearly in a cocoon

Our Caterpillars have now climbed to the top of the jar. They are now big, fat and full and are getting ready to spin their cocoons. We are watching them really closely everyday.

We have learnt this poem at school so you can say it at home with your child and they can teach you the actions:

A caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree.
"I think I'll have a nap" said he.
So under a leaf he began to creep
To spin a cocoon,
Then he feel asleep.

All winter he slept in his cocoon bed,
Till Spring came along one day and said,
"Wake up, wake up, little sleep head,
 Wake up it's time to get out of bed".
So he opened his eyes on that sun shiny day.
And he was a butterfly and flew away.

We have some very special guests in our classroom at the the form of 5 Caterpillars. We received a special delivery from Insectlore. We received a jar with 5 tiny caterpillars. They have food at the bottom of their jar and they are getting fatter and fatter by the day. We learned all about the lifecycle of the butterfly and we are going to follow all the keep checking our blog to keep updated.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big fat caterpillars

Look how much our caterpillars have grown!  They are now 14 matchsticks wide!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our caterpillars have nearly doubled in size: Senior Infants

 On Tuesday our caterpillars were as long as 4 matchsticks held together.  Today when we measured again they were as long as 7 matchsticks.  They have nearly doubled in 3 days.  We left out 12 matchsticks in case we need that many on Monday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Five very hungry caterpillars: Senior Infants

Five very hungry caterpillars arrived in our room today (Tuesday, 10th May). They came all the way from the UK. We were SO excited to see them. They came in a special container with lots of airholes so that they can breathe. They are really tiny now (about the length of a finger nail!!) but we expect that they will get much bigger over the coming weeks.  We don't have to feed them as they have special food in the container to eat. We learned all about the lifecycle of the butterfly today and teacher told us the story of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. We also saw the video of it which was terrific and we learned a song about a butterfly. Please check out our Butterfly page (on the front page of our school website) for some wonderful related activities. You will also be able to find the video of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' there.

How big are our tiny caterpillars?

We were wondering how big our caterpillars have become.  We used the ends of matchsticks because they are very narrow.  A tiny caterpillar is as wide as 4 matchsticks pushed together.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Our Painted Lady caterpillars have arrived

We ordered caterpillars from  They came all the way from the UK in the post.  They are really tiny now, but they will eat the food they came with, and soon we will have 5 beautiful Painted Lady butterflies to release into Renmore.  We will watch as the caterpillars turn into chrysalides in their cocoons, and then turn into butterflies.  This is very exciting for us.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What happened the parasitic wasp eggs?

Remember the parasitic wasp eggs?

Here is the article from last September:

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

Anyway, the eggs are hatching and we are seeing not wasps, but ant-like insects with 6 legs, wings and 2 antennae   They look much more like ants than wasps.