Learning to Let Go with our Live Butterfly Garden…
It’s time to let our butterflies go.
For this week’s Science Saturday it’s time to say goodbye. It was just three weeks ago that our Butterfly Keeper, Erin, received a package from Insect Lore with a larval culture cup.
Since then, we watched as the caterpillars ate until their bellies were full enough to develop and enter into the pupal stage.
During this stage of the butterfly’s lifecycle, Erin came to work to find that all the caterpillars had crawled to the top of the cup and were hanging upside down.
It only took 2 days for the caterpillars to curl up and harden into iridescent chrysalides and from there we all anxiously waited until they hatched into beautiful Painted Lady butterflies.
Metamorphosis of a Butterfly
- A butterfly starts life on the leaves of a plant as a very small, round, oval or cylindrical egg.
- When the egg finally hatches, caterpillars emerge and begin eating until they have enough nutrients so they can grow quickly.
- Once they have eaten enough, they enter the pupal stage. During this stage the caterpillars will hang upside-down and the magic begins! From the outside it may look like the caterpillar is just resting, but inside the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing remarkable transformation.
- Finally, the caterpillar emerges as beautiful butterflies, completing their metamorphosis!
Pictures of our Butterfly Keeper, Erin, getting ready to say goodbye to her babies.
A little play time first…
Resting on Erin’s shoulder.
Watch ants create 3-D tunnels in the amazing space gel.