Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hatching butterflies

My mom got James a butterfly habitat from www.insectlore.com for his birthday a few weeks ago. We had mailed away for the caterpillars before his party, so they arrived soon after he opened the gift. The caterpillars were very small, but they were sent in a container of their own food, so within about seven days, they had grown quite big. A few days later when we peeked into the container there were no more caterpillars! All five had turned into little chrysalises hanging from the top of the container! I carefully opened the lid to the container and transferred it to the top of the netted butterfly habitat, attaching it with a safety pin.
We watched every day for changes in the chrysalises. Finally after about a week, they started hatching! Within just a few days, all five hatched into little Painted Lady Butterflies! We put a bowl of sugar water in the habitat and enjoyed watching the little orange and black butterflies fly around in the habitat.

After a few days of observation, we decided it was time to let our newly hatched butterflies go in our yard. We opened the lid at watched and waited...
The kids were lucky and got to hold a few of the butterflies on their fingers and arms before they flew away!
Watching these caterpillars turn into butterflies and then releasing them in our backyard took about two weeks total. It was a lot of fun for my curious boys, who rushed to peek at the insects every day to see how they were doing. What a fun summertime activity!