Friday, July 23, 2010
A new (temporary) pet
Friends of ours have been raising monarch butterfly caterpillars, some of them from eggs, and have entrusted them to us while they leave on vacation. I know that keeping monarchs through its metamorphosis stages is common for many families but we just haven't yet. And it really is so exciting! When we picked up the critters yesterday, two were already in the chrysalis stage and 3 were very hungry caterpillars.
This morning when we woke up 2 had formed a silken mat and were hanging in the famous J shape. According to my internet sources, the caterpillar should hang for about a day. Then it will shed its skin for the 5th and last time and a green chrysalis will be underneath. I am just as excited as the kids to watch this all unfold (literally!) before our eyes.
In this picture you can see the caterpillar on the right in the J shape and the last very hungry caterpillar still eating milkweed on the left.
See those golden flecks on the chrysalis? They look like the gold paint you see in museums or fancy churches. I think the two on the bottom will be the butterflies eye. Just a guess from looking at pictures of the chrysalis right before the butterfly emerges. Updates of the progress to follow...