Friday, October 5, 2012

Spikey

Today as the boys were playing outside during "recess" they discovered a bright orange caterpillar with black spikes.  Alex came and told me to come and see what they had found.  Of course, I grabbed my camera along the way.
We did not want to touch it, but wanted to get a better look at it, so we let it crawl on a piece of wood and placed it on a stack of wire to see it better.
Before going back inside Alex came up with the idea that it could be our class pet.  We have tried caterpillar keeping before and made it long enough to see the chrysalis form, but it never emerged.  We are all hoping for better results this time.
Alex ran in and retrieved an empty water bottle so that we could house Spikey for the few hours left of school.  We punched a few holes in the bottle for air and his piece of wood and leaves in there with him.  He is one active caterpillar...always looking for a way out!  Once we get a chance, we'll put him in our empty fish tank that has a lid.
Spikey is a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar.  More research on the internet explains why they found it where they did.  It feeds on passion flowers.  Passion flowers thrive in the area in which the boys found Spikey.  We put some other leaves in with him when we first found him, but they aren't passion flower leaves.  I will have to go out and find some before he gets too hungry.
It makes me happy to have our very own living science experiment, but can only hope that things turn out for the good.  It should be a very beautiful butterfly if we are successful at caterpillar sitting for a few days. 

2 comments:

  1. Spikey is totally AWESOME!!!! What a great lesson to have right there in the yard! He is a beautiful caterpillar too! Can't wait to hear more about how he is doing!

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  2. When we left the house this morning he was hanging by his hind feet from the screen on the top of the cage. Either he's hanging himself or going through the initial stages of transformation. Praying for the second option! :)

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