Olivia’s caterpillars have arrived! She was so excited to find them in the mail yesterday. We opened them up right away. Her first reaction was that it smelled yucky. I told her that it was the caterpillars’ food that she was smelling. We took out her magnifying glass, and I had so much fun explaining everything that was in the cup. The caterpillar to butterfly unit was one of my favorite things to teach when I was teaching first grade.
Here are some of the facts that I shared with Olivia:
– The orange “stuff” at the bottom is the caterpillars’ food. It is called mallow. I showed her a picture of what a mallow plant looks like, and we were even able to watch one of the caterpillars eating.
– The caterpillars have spots on their backs. These are called spiracles. The spiracles help them to breathe.
– The caterpillars look like they have spikes on them. These are called bristles, and help to keep them safe from predators.
– There is silk inside of the cup, which looks like a spider’s web. The caterpillars make this silk to help them attach their chrysalis, when the time is right. I’m really excited to watch all of the stages with Olivia! We currently have 4 live caterpillars, and I’m hoping that they will all make it through the entire process.