Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Painted Lady Butterflies!!

We finished up with the tadpoles/frogs and I wanted to do something else.  Soooo....off to Target I went.  For years I have seen the butterfly kits and wanted one, but never got one.

The girl, V, is OBSESSED with bu-er-flies.  So I thought this would be awesome!

The kit was just a cage basically, but came with a coupon to get the caterpillars.  You just had to pay shipping, which ended up being about $7. I got them from Carolina.com.  I highly recommend them.  They were awesome.  Super helpful when I was waiting on my order and when I had questions.

They took about a week to come in and when they did I was unimpressed.  These things were TINY.
 Look at your pinky nail.  See how small it is?  They could fit on it.  The little guys and girls ate the yellow stuff in the bottom and grew rather quickly.  

The set was suppose to come with 5 and three were guaranteed to grow.  I got 6!  WOOT FOR AN EXTRA!


These next pictures were about 9 days after receiving.  They created a webbing in the cup.  Sort of icky.  lol


At this point they crawled to the top and made cocoons.    That was neat!  The next step in the butterfly growing was tricky.  The little guys/girls were SUPPOSE to make the cocoons and hang from the paper.

Mine ate part of the paper.  So.  Instead of easily tying the paper up to the top of the big popup cage, I had to tie the entire lid.  While doing this two little guys fell off.  I called the company that I got them from and they were super helpful.  They said to get double stick tape, stick it to the little thing on the end where it fell off and tape it up.

That didn't work.  When I picked them up the wiggled and wiggled and wiggled.  One fell and ended up dying.  (I realized this later)  This weird red stuff came out.  I thought it was blood.  It wasn't.  I did some research and found out it was butterfly mechonium. It is a waste fluid that the butterfly unloads as it prepares for its new life and it helps their wings to unfurl.  This poor little guy lost it too early.

Anyway.  The tape wasn't working, since I couldn't get a good connection, so I read on another site that they used hot glue.  I had a low temp hot glue gun, so I grabbed a papertowel, put two drops on it and stuck the VERY tips of the cocoons to it.  After that I tied that piece to the top of the habitat as well.


Four of the six were on the paper.  One is kind of hidden.  If you look at the one on the right, you can see that little black spot on the top left.  That is how they attach.  It is VERY tiny.


So one morning after taking the boys to school I looked over and saw movement!  OUR FIRST butterfly!!!  Kind of tricky taking a picture inside a mesh container.



  I got a bit creative and figured out how to get in there.



 That is the mechonium on the bottom.  NOT blood.


Once they come out you have to figure out how to feed them.  I got a muffin cup container and poked a whole in the top.  I twisted a piece of papertowel and shoved it in the hole.  The mixture inside is water and sugar.  So the paper towel acted as a wick/flower stamin.



I put one on the wick so they knew where it was.  





I added sticks to the container just to make it a bit more interesting looking.  It was not that necessary.  The butterflies landed on the walls and I never really saw them on the stick.







I did add some sage to the bottom.  Apparently the caterpillars like to eat it.  I was hoping to get caterpillars.  They didn't lay eggs.  Maybe I didn't keep them in there long enough.  I felt kind of bad keeping them contained.


 One day I decided it was release day!  That was fun.  Those guys took OFF!  See the blur?  lol

Here are the two cocoons I glued up.  The one in the front it empty.  The deceased is in the back.


A random frog graced our house shortly one night after the release.  I figured one of the Franks came back.
 
 


Carolina.com did NOT sponsor this post.  They have no idea I wrote it.  All experiences and opinions are my own.  If they want to sponsor a post, I wouldn't be opposed to another kit of something.  ;)  Totally kidding by the way.  I will be looking into purchasing a different kit in the future though!

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