Tent Caterpillars Nature Study

 It's been a bad year for tent caterpillars here.  This could be because of the very mild winter we had.  Our children just love these little caterpillars and will spend hours playing with them.  It brings back memories of my own childhood, as I loved them to!  I was always out catching bugs to look at.

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 Tent Caterpillar Cocoon

A few weeks ago our girls decided they would try to raise some of the caterpillars until they turned into butterflies.  I explained to them that these caterpillars turn into a moth, not a butterfly.  They decided that even though they wouldn't be as "pretty" as the Painted Lady butterfly's we raised a few years ago, they wanted to try anyway.  The butterfly photo in my site header is from one that we raised back then!

 Tent Caterpillar Cocoon

They picked out a few caterpillars of different sizes to put in their bug jar.  Then each was promptly named. :)  Every day they would pick a few leaves off our fruit trees to feed their new pets.   While they will eat any tree leaves, fruit is their favourite.

 Tent Caterpillar

About a week later our oldest dd, came running to me in excitement.  The largest caterpillar had split its skin and crawled out.  Very cool!  Not much longer, maybe a week at most we had a new discovery.  Two of them had made chrysalis!  They should take about 2 weeks to hatch as moths.  We have about 7 days left to wait.  Yes the kids are checking many times a day to see if they have come out yet!