Friday, April 06, 2007

The making of a Cocoon

Well, I know I'm telling you more than you ever wanted to know about caterpillars, but I'm really enjoying watching these guys! I think I'm getting more out of it than the kids. :)

Anyway...our first caterpillar started making his cocoon. Thought you might like to see the process. You can see these pictures much better and larger if you click on them.

Something interesting that I noticed is that if another caterpillar bumped him while he was working, he would wiggle and flail. I think this is a defense mechanism to keep safe

FYI, the way it works is: Caterpillars have an exoskeleton that they shed regularly. When it's time to make the cocoon, the caterpillar starts shedding his exoskeleton. The new skin that grows back is his cocoon.

This photo is from wed morning. He hung upside down all night, and then started working. That little bubble at the bottom is the beginnings of his work. .

This is from Wed. afternoon. The bottom half of the chrysalis has formed. But he's still working on the top half. You can see that is back is still caterpillar.

Thursday: the finished product. I think this is so cool! can you see how it glows? The little dots on the back look holograph-y. You should really click on this one & see it larger. :)

Thursday afternoon, Chrystal gets a sleeping buddy.

Thurs. evening, all the caterpillars make their way to the top.

No comments: