Growing Butterflies Adventure

MOST of the butterflies flew!! Below is the video, but if you’d like to see the full story of our butterflies, please continue to scroll.

As gross as this might sound, our oldest “G” randomly took a liking to a small bug that we found in the house, wanting to keep it in a container for the rest of it’s (very short!) life. This gave me an amazing spur of the moment idea!

Butterflies!

Immediately I went online and performed a quick Google search to find said butterflies. I found a website InsectLore.com which made the purchase easy and the butterflies showed up within two days. 

My prediction came true, my older boys were so excited – the baby couldn’t care less. As instructed, we left the caterpillars as they are – in their container which contains their food and a lid for them to attach to later.

Now, we wait. 

Unboxing

The boys pounced on the box that was delivered by the mailman because who doesn’t like receiving exciting things! As the box stated, we opened it up right away happy to find out kit. Though the instructions stated that they may look quite inactive for the first 48 hours, they were mostly moving around giving us a show. 

In order for the caterpillars to thrive, we put them in an area out of sunlight or drafts and at room temperature. This means that they are sitting in our kitchen. 

The booklet says that we are to wait around 7 to 10 days for the caterpillars to become chrysalides that can be moved into the net. Below, I will document our caterpillars daily as we see them grow!

Day 1

I checked on the caterpillars this morning after making my way to the kitchen. Spunky little things, they are all moving about their container, eating and climbing up the sides. 

Day 2

Day 2 and it looks like our caterpillars are growing by the second. The transformation to a big caterpillar can really be seen in just one night. Looks like they are also figuring out which way is up!

Day 3

We don’t see too many changes from Day 2 until Day 3, but it seems that they may have grown a bit. The food appears to be eaten partially as well, so it looks like we are on a good track. The instructions did say that it can take up to 7 to 10 days for them to attach to the lid, so we do have some more time to wait.

Day 4

They look even bigger! We swear they grow right in front of our eyes. As we say in Polish, “Rosną jak na drożdżach “. All in all, we are having an adventure watching them and waiting to see what they’ll do next.

Day 5

They have grown exponentially since Monday! Though we do have a little runt in the litter. We’ll see how they keep doing in the next couple of days.

Day 6

We’ve got giant wiggly worms this morning. Looks like they’ve been doing nothing but eating the whole time they’ve been in there.

Day 7

Some of our caterpillars started going up exactly as scheduled at 7 days. So far, one of them has decided it is time to start hanging in the prescribed J shaped before they are able to make the final transformation.

Day 8

This is by far the most exciting day yet! The caterpillars have started hanging upside in their J shapes with one of them having formed an entire cocoon! They are now called chrysalides and are on their way to becoming butterflies. One of the most crucial stages, so we are doing all we can to leave them in peace before they get moved into their temporary home.

Day 9

We’ve got some cocoons or chrysalides as they are called! Within the span of a single day, the four caterpillars that made their way up decided to attach to the top and form their cocoons, ready to become butterflies. 

There is one little straggler at the bottom that started to think about making his way toward the lid as I took the picture. We’ll see what becomes of him, so far he’s managed to aggravate the rest of them as they were hanging peacefully untouched. 

Within a day or two, they’ll be ready to move to the net enclosure that came with the package where we can keep them for up to a week after they become butterflies.

Day 10

So, we should be moving the cocoons to their enclosure soon, but we have one that is stubborn. If you see the one on the right hand side, he is still a regular caterpillar without a care for the world!

Day 11

The last caterpillar – which sounds like the title of a good children’s book – has finally decided that it is time to try and become a butterfly. About three days behind the rest, he is now hanging in the J shape, though he hasn’t cocooned yet. We’ll see what happens to him since we have to move them to their net soon.

Day 12

By now, even the last caterpillar has fully figured it out, changing into a chrysalides. We moved them to their net today, awaiting our butterflies.

Day 14

Nothing changed between day 12 and day 14 – they are still chrysalides and still waiting on them become butterflies. Most of our caterpillars turned into cocoons by day 9, which means that we can be waiting as far as day 19 – 5 more to go. We’ll see!

Day 16

The exciting transformation finally happened! We have a butterfly! Hopefully the rest will follow, but I did find out something interesting that I’d like to share about the butterfly.

In order for the butterfly to break out of the cocoon that it has made around itself, it has a sack in its abdomen that fills full of fluid which is best described as hydraulic fluid. This fluid is released and the pressure from that is what causes the cocoon to break and the wings to expand. Once the fluid is no longer needed, the butterfly expels the rest. This fluid is red and commonly mistaken for blood, even though it has more to do with hydraulic fluid, than the blood that we are aware of.

Day 17

Butterflies! So far, we have four out of five. Our late straggler is still hanging on to the lid with all his might, waiting for his transformation. For now, the ones that we have are stretching their wings learning to fly. Soon we will be setting them free letting them fully use those wings for good.

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