Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The One that Survived...

Several weeks ago, Kelsey found that our flowers in front had five caterpillars munching away on it. I gave her permission to capture and raise two of them. She named them Sara and Pokey. We didn't take any pictures of the ones we caught, but they looked something like this:

Picture from here.

After some intense research on Google, we were able to identify the critters as Buckeye caterpillars. Kelsey fed them, and changed their food (plants), cleaned out the jar a few times, and watched them every day. Before long, Pokey had formed into a chrysalis overnight. A couple days later, Sara followed suit.

In the process, we learned something really cool about these caterpillars: they shed those spiky things when they make their chrysalis. Again, we didn't get a picture, so we are borrowing someone else's here. You can kind of see the ball of spikes behind the chrysalis in this picture:
Picture from here.

After about another week, Kelsey found the second chrysalis empty. Sara had emerged!

We looked closely in the jar, and sure enough - we had a butterfly.

(Which eventually found its way out of the jar.)

It was so much fun watching it, so we took a video, too!

Kelsey also found this little 8-legged critter while she was on the steps watching Sara. She named him Jasper. And then she killed him. Black widows are not allowed to live in our yard.

And Pokey? Pokey never came out of the chrysalis. We assume one of the freakishly intense 100 degree days roasted him alive. Kelsey was really sad and cried about it.  She's such a tenderhearted gal.

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