Friday, May 16, 2014

Feeding Caterpillars

              We raise Painted Lady butterflies every year. 
Every year I follow the instructions and mix up the food that is supplied.    
   It’s a light brown substance that smells slightly like oatmeal. 
       We never see them eat it as it always looks the same.
This year when the caterpillars arrived, I posted pictures on our
Facebook page.  A StrongStart facilitator from down island commented
that they feed their Painted Lady caterpillars leaves from the Lupin plant.
I really liked the idea of using a plant to feed them.  Actually to see
them eat and see the leaves disappear would be more meaningful.
On Monday I added a plant.  At first the caterpillars didn’t climb up the plant so I picked some leaves and brought them down.  As you can see it didn’t take them
long to find and devour them.
IMG_3265 IMG_3266
 IMG_3264 IMG_3263
We added some sticks and they began to climb.  It was amazing to watch
them move around the plant and hang from the leaves.
IMG_3299 IMG_3350
       By Thursday most of the leaves were looking skeletal.
This morning I added a second plant, knowing that we will be closed
for three days, so worried they wouldn’t run out of food.
          They still have their dry food and they are still eating it. 
I’m looking forward to seeing where they will form their chrysalis. 
If it will be on the plant, under the remaining leaves or on the sticks
we’ve provided.