|Monarch Caterpillar – Eaton Family|
Hello my friends!
One thing you guys are finding lots of are insects, in particular: caterpillars! Were you able to see the wooly bear caterpillar in the last post?
We are seeing butterflies and moths in many of the stages they go through in their life. In each stage they transform shape, colour and size!
First, a mother butterfly/moth will lay her eggs on specific plants that will make good food for her babies.
Next, a larva will hatch from the egg. We call larva by a different name- caterpillar! The first meal for each caterpillar will be its own eggshell… mmm nutrients.
|Monarch Butterfly – Katherine Denune|
Caterpillars go through several stages (called instars), where they grow too big for their own‘skin’ so they shed or molt. Sometimes when they molt (change instars) they will end up looking like an ENTIRELY different caterpillar! Caterpillars will continuously eat, poop, molt, eat, poop, molt, until they are finally ready to turn into a moth.
Then they leave their plant, find a safe place, and start to “pupate”, or form a hard, strong, skin. Sometimes when this happen they will turn brown!
Once they are fully pupated, they are called chrysalides (if butterflies) or cocoons (if moths). They might stay in that stage all winter, and then hatch as moth/butterfly in the spring! They hatch by pumping a liquid into the veins of their wings to expand them. Adult moth/butterflies are in the “imago” stage.
POP QUIZ! What are the differences between a butterfly and a moth?
Three cheers for butterfly nets and pretty sun sets!