Sunday, July 22, 2012

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar - Getting Ready

 I've seen it so many times, and it still fascinates me! This little guy looked so big and fat and then when he gets ready to change into a chrysalis he looks so small again.

This is when we move our caterpillars from a jar to our homemade butterfly house. We made this at a Homeschool Co-Op we attended a few years ago. 

I tried to find this craft on the internet, but can't seem to find it. Basically you need a soft netting, string, a large plastic strawberry container, scissors, and a glue gun. Cut the top away from the bottom of the plastic container and cut the middle of the bottom of the container out, leaving a frame. Wrap the mesh around the top piece and glue it to the inside, leaving enough mesh above to tie together and be sure that there is overlap on the side where the mesh can overlap itself to close the entrance. Glue the bottom framed piece below it about 8 inches and tie the mesh below with a string to keep it closed. When done hang it up with string and you have a safe butterfly house for your chrysalis to be placed. 

One year I didn't put the chrysalis in this and the butterfly came out when we were not home. We found it later with it's wings all stuck to the bottom of the glass jar. If you have no choice and you only have a jar I recommend using the largest jar you can find and lining the bottom of the jar with something soft (material or something) to prevent any problem or bring the butterfly with you everywhere you go so that you can be sure you are there when it comes out. We have done this as well!

We only keep our butterflies for a day or two and then we let them go.

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