The Butterfly Project

I’ve already talked about Reagan and her 4-H WINGS Butterfly project.  To help her out with understanding the butterfly life-cycle, we got her a Caterpillar to Butterfly Kit.  She received a butterfly habitat, food, and all the other essentials needed to take care of the five live caterpillars that came, as well.  The kit came very quickly, and included very detailed instructions for taking care of the caterpillars and butterflies until time to release them into the wild.  Once these caterpillars are metamorphosed, they will emerge as American Painted Lady Butterflies.

The caterpillars come already in this plastic container.  The yellowish-brown stuff at the bottom is their food.  Eventually (5-10 days) they climb to the top of the container and hook themselves onto the special netting there.  Once they’re hooked into the netting, they will hang upside down and make the chrysalis’ that will help them metamorphose into butterflies.


At this point, there were actually six caterpillars in the container.  Five of them were about 3/4 inch long, and the sixth was only about 1/4 of an inch long.  As they eat and process the food, they grow at a facinating rate, and leave their waste (yucky!) in the bottom of the container.

Reagan really loved reading about the caterpillars and how to take care of them.  She is very diligent about checking on them daily and making sure they have what they need.

Day 7

Three of the caterpillars are hooked to the top of the container today.  Two have already started forming their chrysalis, and the third is laying flat across the top of the container and is hidden in this picture.  A fourth caterpillar (the far left) is almost at the top of the container, but not quite.  The fifth caterpillar is starting to make it’s way up the side of the container.

Reagan is so excited for the caterpillars to metamorphose, she can hardly stand it!  We are so proud of the patience and dedication she has been showing with this project, she’s doing a fantastic job!

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