Did you know that the caterpillars will stay in the cup and will eat, spin silk and grow to TEN times their original size? WOW!!
After seven to ten days you can see they hang upside down and harden into chrysalides (chrysalides are also known as pupae).
Raising and Rescuing Our Own Butterflies
This week, the pupils of parents who are key workers have been observing what’s happening in the clear plastic cup.
Sadly, one of the caterpillars would not make a chrysalis and knocked the other chrysalides off the top of the lid! This initiated our team to come up with a rescue plan.
Our team were very keen to help and moved quickly into our computer suite to research how to save fallen chrysalides! We found written and pictorial instructions how to re-hang a chrysalis and followed them carefully. The operation was in full flow!
Thank you to everyone in our team – from the researchers to the rescuers. A particular thank you to Grace Wheeler who helped me re-hang three chrysalides by gluing the cremasters onto small pieces of paper towel and then attach them to the sides of the netted butterfly garden. It wasn’t easy – there were a few attempts but we preserved and succeeded!
What happened to the caterpillar that wouldn’t make a chrysalis?
We decided to leave it in the cup (with food) for a while to see if it would climb the the top, make a ‘j’ shape and build a shell. It wouldn’t! After a long discussion about Darwin’s theory, we decided to set it free and hope for the best! A difficult decision as we knew the temperature outside was less than 21 degrees!
Watch these informative videos showing the caterpillar to butterfly process for far.
Setting up you Chrysalis Station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Prw99oojY0
Caring for your Chrysalis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcwOzy72vcM