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August 19, 2010

Painted Lady Butterflies ARE here!

As I shared last week the caterpillars made their chrysalis. We were surprise to learn that they shed their exoskeleton to reveal their chrysalis. I didn't share any pictures last week so let me show you pictures now! This was taken last week on the 14th after all of the caterpillars formed their chrysalis and they were moved to the butterfly habitat.
You'll note that two of the chrysalis has fussy stuff stuck to them. That is the shed exoskeleton. Sometimes the shed exoskeleton gets stuck to the chrysalis as it's drying. You may also noticed some red spots on the paper. This the the dye that is used in the coloring of the wings.  Insect lore's paper work did state that we may see some excess meconium so don't worry and it's not blood, etc.

So this morning about 7:30 I checked the chrysalis and everything seem "normal" they looked pretty much the same as they have been. Although I noted that two of them are slightly different color. No movement, just different color.

Then at 8:30 something caught my eye. I took a look and what did I see:
This butterfly came from one of the chrysalis that were a sightly different color this morning. I have been checking them now pretty regularly.  From 8:30-9:30 there has not been any new butterflies. However there has been a TON of meconium released by this one butterfly.
See how the one chrysalis below the butterfly on the left side and in between the two chrysalises with the exoskeletons attached. That is the one that is slightly different then the rest. That is the one we feel will become a butterfly next.  Can you see how it's a little bit darker then the rest and darker then it was before (see picture above). It the middle one on the bottom I'm referring too. Now I understand why the one commenter on Ten Kids and a Dog stated they get a bit messy when they leave their cocoon.

For food we have placed some coffee filters soaked in sugar water and placed on a Tupperware lid "on the bottom of the container". It's actually the "top" of the container. However when I thought about having to feed them I new it would be easier to just unzip the lid and slide the food in and out instead of having to  place my hands and arm into the container to place things on the bottom.  So we made the top the bottom so we could just unzip and slide the food in and out with minimum disturbance to the butterflies.
We know it will be several hours before the butterfly will move around seeing the wings still need to dry out, but the food is there for when it's ready. Some point before we let them go will also feed them some orange slices and perhaps even some watermelon slices.


  1. How exciting!!! We're going to raise tadpoles this year so I am excited about that. Both kids already did painted lady butterflies in PS in 2nd grade so I feel no need to repeat it in HS.
    Have fun! It's so exciting when they are released (infact-if you're interested, I have photos of my daughter's PS class releasing them on my website)

  2. Hello Nikki,

    We did these butterflies last year and were amazed at the whole process. My children want to do it again.


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