Caterpillar journey

Date: 22nd Mar 2020 @ 9:04pm

Let me know how your caterpillar is doing. Don't forget to include lots of detail - you are scientists!

The butterflies are here!

I will put your photographs at the bottom of this post as your butterflies arrive. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

 

Helpful information:

It’ll soon be time to release your butterflies! Have your class keep an eye on the chrysalides. If they begin to darken it’s a sure sign your butterflies are preparing to emerge. 

 

If you look closely, you can see the outlines of their wings and bodies inside the chrysalis.

 
 
 
   

Butterflies emerge incredibly quickly – if you are very lucky, you may catch this magical moment!

 

When your butterflies first emerge, their wings will be crumpled.  It’s very important you do not allow them to be disturbed while they expand and dry their wings.

 

Don’t worry if your butterflies expel a red liquid.  This is not blood but meconium, it is leftover waste material from the butterflies’ amazing transformation.

 

When a butterfly emerges its proboscis (tongue) is in two halves.  You will see the butterfly coiling and uncoiling the two halves which will eventually join to form a tube-like tongue!

 

 
 

How to care for your Butterflies:

 
 
   

Just 1 to 2 hours after emerging, your butterflies will be ready to take flight!

 

You can feed the butterflies fruit (be sure to cut up and score the fruit), nectar (mix 5ml sugar to 100ml water) or flowers.

 

The nectar can be sprinkled onto the sponge of our Flower Feeder, if you have one.  Alternatively, saturate a tissue with nectar and place on a small plate in the habitat or, using your pipette, sprinkle nectar directly onto fresh flowers.

                       

Set them free!

 

After you have watched, studied and shared the wonder of your butterfliesfor a couple of days, it's time to let them go.

 

Simply upzip the habitat and patiently wait for the butterflies to fly away.  You can also allow then to crawl on your hand before taking flight.

 

Your butterflies will often land on little hands and faces before saying goodbye. 

   

Post your comment

Spiritdancer12 wrote:

Hello, my caterpillars are in a much bigger container now with twigs, soil, cabbage and other types of leaves. One of my caterpillars has made it's chrysalis and is hanging on the material over the container, my other one is just eating the leaves and climbing up the twigs. They have grown bigger since I took them home and are growing wider too.

Mrs Mc wrote:

I can't believe how big they are! Do you remember when they first arrived? They were like full stops! Try and find out what happens to the caterpillar in the chrysalis stage.

Sherbet lemon wrote:

Well done your caterpillar my one is on the bottom of his tub and in a cocoon

Rugby lover wrote:

My caterpillar is a butterfly now!!!

Fishman 123 wrote:

Day 15, RED ADMIRAL BUTTERFLIES, we took pictures of them. It took about ten minutes for them to fly away because they had to pump fluids into their wings as to make them stronger while the sun dries them!

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Sparkle Dust Dancer wrote:

I have transferred my caterpillar into a transparent container and I have placed some twigs and leaves so that it can cocoon. I I have also put the food in the container so then it stays healthy. I think my caterpillar is going to cocoon soon!

Mrs Mc wrote:

It would be great if you see your caterpillar when it is making the chrysalis around itself. Let us know when it happens!

Sparkle Dust Dancer wrote:

My caterpillar is now in its chrysalis hanging from the twigs!

Rugby lover wrote:

I have transferred aswell

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mushroomsuxatlife wrote:

my catipiller escaped last night and when i woke up he was on my face
bit of a nightmare

Mrs Mc wrote:

It's a good job you didn't feel peckish in the night!

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Ice cream 3 wrote:

My caterpillar is in it's pupa

Mrs Mc wrote:

FANTASTIC! I wonder how long it will be before you see your caterpillar?

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YummyYorkie wrote:

Both my caterpillars are dangling from the roof getting ready to start the cocoon. I've been feeding them some leaves but there both not interested. they are both about 40mm long and are not really moving.
my caterpillar is still alive. :]

mushroomsuxatlife wrote:

hey if your catipiller wont eat i recomed apple

holfor wrote:

I recommend 2or3 twigs in a jam jar.

Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

I reccomend rhubarb leaves. My Caterpillar couldn't stop eating those!

YummyYorkie wrote:

!!!!!Thanks!!!!!

Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

You're welcome YummyYorkie!

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Mrs McCahey wrote:

If your caterpillar is not moving much maybe it's getting ready to build its chrysalis?

Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Yes. Mine are a lot bigger but don't have a lot of movement.

Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

My Caterpillar is not moving but she is on the ground, not the roof. I hope that she has been eating enough...

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Mrs McCahey wrote:

That's fantastic! It sounds like quite a lot of them are starting to change.

Saffron skys03 wrote:

Mine keeps eating upside down and I put a little leaf and she is eating it.

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Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

My caterpillars are so much bigger now!!

Mrs Mc wrote:

Do you think they will form their chrysalis soon?

Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Hopefully, I am going to replace the leaves and add some twigs.

Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

My Caterpillar is not fat and is barely longer. She is lying on the floor and I'm not sure she's ready to make her chrysalis just yet.

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#cheetah10 wrote:

One of my caterpillars is in a cocoon but the other one knocked it of so it is on the floor.

Mrs Mc wrote:

It should still be OK on the floor.

#cheetah10 wrote:

My other one is hanging off the roof of the tub forming its chrysalis.

Fishman 123 wrote:

I hope it will be alright!

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holfor wrote:

On Saturday we moved the caterpillar in to a jam jar and we put twigs and leaves in too. It got settled in very quickly and cocooned over night. it is now day 2 of the cocoon and I am waiting patiently for a butterfly :-)

Mrs McCahey wrote:

Just before the butterfly emerges, the chrysalis will start to wobble - it's the butterfly inside.

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Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

My Caterpillar is turning green. She/he has grown about 2.4mm and has kept her/his white, vertical stripe.

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Sherbet lemon wrote:

My caterpillar is in a coocoon in a new container I cant believe how big it was on the roof of its container

Sherbet lemon wrote:

Its still the same

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Fishman 123 wrote:

My caterpillars are much bigger and wider to! Both are at the top and ready to make their chrysalis! I put them in a beetroot jar ( glass, if it was cardboard they would eat it and get sick) Rose leaves* -we usually find a lot of caterpillars their- are the type of leaves we put in the jar. The caterpillars, I figured, wouldnt eat leaves with fur on.

*My dad found a caterpillar on the ground, we rescued it and put it on the rose bush!

Fishman 123 wrote:

Day 2 of the chrysalis, Bill and Brian - my caterpillars -are still.

How do caterpillars eat and drink inside the pupa?

Fishman 123 wrote:

This about the caterpillar my dad found.

The next day, when I looked it gone, it was either dead or crawled away, I hope it crawled away.

Fishman 123 wrote:

Day 3 of the chrysalis, all fine, all still

Mrs Mc wrote:

How's the chrysalais? Have you found out what happens to the caterpillar in the chrysalis?

Fishman 123 wrote:

Yes, they stop eating and drinking!
Day 4 of the chrysalis, all fine, all still.

Sherbet lemon wrote:

My caterpillar should be called big Chungus

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Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Both of my caterpillars are hanging from the roof but they are still in the pot that we brought the home in. Do you think they will be ok?

Mrs Mc wrote:

You need to move them into a bigger container so that they will have room when the butterflies emerge from the chrysalis. Take the lid off carefully - with the chrysalis attached- and put into a box or big jar (with holes in the lid) and they will be OK. Make sure that you have some leaves and twigs in there. Good luck!

Mrs Mc wrote:

Leave them fastened to the lid and they will be OK.

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Yummy Yorkie wrote:

My caterpillars are in their cocoon I think it looks a lot like a leaf and its a bit small.
Also I liked the video !!! =)

Mrs Mc wrote:

Hi Yummy Yorkie. I'm really pleased that they've formed their cocoon. I don't know how long they are in there - perhaps you could research this? I'm glad you like the video - I thought it was sweet!

Rugby lover wrote:

My caterpillar is in its cocoon as well and they stay in there cocoon for 10-14 days

Mrs Mc wrote:

Thanks - I wasn't sure how long they would be in the cocoon.

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Rugby lover wrote:

My caterpillar is in its Chrisalis 仁

Mrs Mc wrote:

Fantastic! Most of them seem to have made their cocoon.

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#cheetah10 wrote:

I have transferred my butterflies into my butterfly house. I am waiting for them to turn into butterflies and fly around the net.

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Fishman 123 wrote:

Day 4 of the chrysalis, all fine, all well,

Mrs Mc wrote:

Pleased to hear it Fishman. Have you seen any birds yet this morning? Have a good day : )

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Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

I now know why my caterpillar was not moving. She started making her cocoon on the floor! I didn't know that caterpillars could make their cacoon on the floor.

Mrs Mc wrote:

Pleased to hear it - you had me worried there for a moment Dr Whogirl. I sent a TARDIS out for you on my video message on the Y5 Home page - have you seen it yet?

Dr. Whogirl 11 wrote:

Yes. I thought that the editi簽g was good. Ali would of liked that.

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Godzilla wrote:

Hi, my caterpillar is hanging from the top of a new jar and he is now currently in a cocoon. Before he made his cocoon he was eating flowers and leaves. He is doing great.

Fishman 123 wrote:

Mines doing great too, day five, all well

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Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Both of my caterpillars are in their chrysalis hanging from the lid of the jar. How long do you think it takes for them to turn into butterflies?

Mrs Mc wrote:

Good morning diamond dancer :). I hope you are all well. The length of time in the chrysalis varies between butterfly species, but I think it will be about 14 days. I have also found out that butterflies form a chrysalis whilst other insects such as moths form a cocoon. I hadn't realised that there was a difference!

Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Ok thank you. I didn't know there was a difference either! My caterpillars are still in there chrysalis hanging from the lid

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Spiritdancer12 wrote:

My caterpillars are both finally in there chrysalis! They have been in them for a few days, now I can't wait to see what hatches out (fingers crossed it is a butterfly) :)

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Holfor wrote:

My Caterpillar Tongue is coming out of its mouth.It was red liquid running down the tub and it was called meconium it is the leftovers that are not needed

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Mrs Mc wrote:

Hello everybody! I cam across this information today and thought it would be useful for you to know:

Newly emerged butterflies must be able to hang down so their wings can expand and dry properly. If they dont have room to do this, wrinkled and deformed wings will keep them grounded for life.

If a butterfly falls from its chrysalis and is not immediately placed back up to hang down, its wings will be deformed and it will never fly.

If a butterfly is permanently unable to fly (but healthy otherwise) it can be kept as a pet or left outside to support the ecosystem.

Sparkle Dust Dancer wrote:

Mine is still in it's pupa hanging from a twig and some leaves. I hope my caterpillar transforms into a butterfly alright.

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Dance panda wrote:

My caterpillar is in its cocoon and weve made a nice caterpillar house until its hatched to be a butterfly

Mrs Mc wrote:

Hello there Dance Panda - great to hear from you. What have you been doing while we've been off?

Sparkle Dust Dancer wrote:

Dance panda so have we!

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Saffron sky03 wrote:

My caterpillar is now in her cocoon and it is super still.

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Fishman 123 wrote:

Day 7 of the pupa, all well, all still!

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Sparkle Dust Dancer wrote:

My caterpillar has transformed into a butterfly!
When should I let it go?

Mrs Mc wrote:

WONDERFUL!!! Did you see this happen or did you find it this morning? I think that yours is the first to emerge. I have just added some information to the top of this blog page - I hope it helps.

Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Wow I bet it is beautiful. I can't wait for mine to turn into a butterfly

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Sparkle Dust Dancer wrote:

I have just let my butterfly go! I had her on my hand, then I put her on a leaf and then she was ready to go and just flew away!

Mrs Mc wrote:

What a wonderful experience. I am sure that this will be one of your special memories for a long time

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Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

I am worried about my caterpillars because they are still in their chrysalis. They are in a nice big jar with leaves and twigs. Do you think there is something wrong?

Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

My caterpillars have been in the chrysalis for almost 3 weeks now. Does any one recommend what I should do?

Mrs Mc wrote:

It's worth giving them a little bit longer - nature is very unpredictable. A few years ago we hatched chicks. After 2 weeks there was just one egg which hadn't hatched. I decided to put it in the bin but at the last minute I changed my mind and took it home for the weekend and it hatched (We called it Connor!). Fingers crossed!

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Dance panda wrote:

Today my caterpillar has hatched and has turned into a butterfly my mum also noticed that the wings are bleeding and shes shivering.

Mrs Mc wrote:

Hello Dance Panda - I hope you are all well. I think the 'blood' that your mum can see is something called merconium and is nothing to worry about. Read the information at the top of the page and it gives you more detail. I am so pleased that your butterfly has emerged - hopefully it will start to get stronger it will be OK. Take care.

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Dance panda wrote:

We are going to put some fruit in in the clear container that I put my caterpillar in so I will soon let her go but first she needs to stay healthy!

Mrs Mc wrote:

Try and get a picture of your butterfly before you release it. x

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Jellybean Ninja wrote:

My butterfly Fresh hatched a few weeks ago and flew away almost immediately- bye bye butterfly!

Mrs Mc wrote:

Hi there Jellybean Ninja. Sorry I haven't replied sooner. How wonderful to hear from you. I am so pleased that your butterfly hatched safely. It was wonderful watching them change! I hope you are keeping well.

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Diamond dancer 09 wrote:

Thank you for our caterpillars Mrs McCahey, it was really nice and interesting when you saw them grow into butterflies.

Mrs Mc wrote:

Hi there diamond dancer. Great to hear from you. I am so pleased that you enjoyed watching our caterpillars/ butterflies.

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Mrs Mc wrote:

YEAR 5 DON'T FORGET THAT WE HAVE A TT ROCKSTAR BATTLE! LET'S WIN!

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