Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monarch Eggs and Caterpillars

Our baby caterpillar...2 days old. He's super small!!!

Caterpillar egg (it's very small and white)


Our hatching jar

Okay, so I got another neat idea from Family Fun Magazine. There was an article last month about hatching Monarch eggs and watching the metamorphasis cycle take place in your very own home. Well, I just had to try this out. We had just finished constructing our butterfly house out back (I still won't sink in the TONS of money it takes just to get caterpillars shipped here!), and I thought we'd take a trip to a local park (which has a butterfly garden) and bring a few eggs back home. The eggs that we did bring home were small, yellow eggs and they did wind up hatching, but all the caterpillars died. =( So, I took a trip over to our other house we own (still haven't sold it...urgh!), and I knew we had lots of milkweed plants there (milkweed plants are the only host plants that monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on) and found some eggs. You have to look very carefully to find them (you might even be able to find the eggs on milkweed you buy at your local Lowe's or Home Depot). After bringing the leaves home, we put them into a babyfood jar and have watched them for the past few days. One eggs has hatched and the caterpillar is VERY tiny and eating away at the milkweed leaves and the other egg is in the stages of hatching and will meet the world soon, joining his brother in eating the milkweed leaves. Avonlea is really enjoying watching this process take place and being hands on with it. So much cooler than textbook pictures. After the caterpillars get bigger, we'll transport them out back into our butterfly garden and watch them transform into butterflies. Neat stuff! We'll keep posting pictures of this interesting experiment throughout the next few months so stay tuned...


Bush Family said...

The problem is me watering them ;-)

Matthew and Valerie said...

What a great idea! I'm sure the kids will love watching their new pets!

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