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Friday, April 24, 2009


Last Friday, we were at a park and found a flowering plant that was infested with caterpillars. My boys were exhilarated!

We had many close encounters with caterpillars previously. We have so far managed to morph just one caterpillar but missed observing the crucial processes. Since then, we have been on a lookout for caterpillars. On most occasions, the one miserable caterpillar that we managed to find will die on us because we do not have the correct leaves to feed them.

This time, my boys made sure they harvested plenty of the leaves (and even flowers!) from the plant that they found the caterpillars on. They wanted to be sure we were successful this time so they harvested about 5 caterpillars!

These five hungry caterpillars ate up ALL the plant material we collected in less than a day! I wasn't too optimistic that these will survive. They were tiny and so would need a lot more food to fatten up before they are ready to weave their cocoons. It wasn't practical for us to go back to the park everyday to harvest fresh leaves for our caterpillars, so I did the most convenient thing; I plucked some leaves from one of my plants in my balcony. These were leaves that have yellowed and were those I would remove anyway so I didn't mind. To our delight, the caterpillars devoured these leaves!

We are left with three caterpillars. Two have escaped. We noticed that the smaller ones were able to squeeze through the tiny holes on the plastic aquarium we put them in. In fact, on the first few days, we found escaped caterpillars crawling on the floor. We have since transferred them to another more secure container.

A week has passed and the caterpillars are still alive, eating and growing. We are waiting and keeping a close watch ...

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