Caterpillar update – week 3 – we have breaking news!

I was wondering what I was going to write this week in our caterpillar diary as nothing has happened at all since my last post. I came downstairs this morning, walked into the kitchen, clicked the kettle on and noticed something strange out of the corner of my eye.  Something was different in the ‘caterpillar jar’.  I wasn’t wearing my contact lenses so it took me a few seconds to register exactly what had happened.

It would appear that someone had been rather busy overnight.  We no longer had a pupa in a cocoon, we had a little moth – a Lackey’s moth to be precise (thank you Guru Gramps for your encyclopedic knowledge on all things bugs related)

Caterpillar update - week 3
Our Lackey’s Moth

I called my son to show him our new friend.  He was aghast.  Wow, Mum, we’ve got a Moth!! Daddy! come quickly.

Caterpillar update - week 3

Caterpillar update - week 3(the earth was at the bottom of the jar – in case you were wondering!)

We decided to let the moth go and opened the patio doors – he nearly didn’t make it as Brewster took a huge leap to try to catch him (I would have been mortified if he’d caught him after the last few weeks!)  Off he went, to start the lifecycle all over again.

I managed to peel the cocoon away from the inside of my storage jar, it was impossible to see how the moth had actually escaped from the cocoon itself as it looks totally intake – a mystery …..

Caterpillar update - week 3
The empty pupa inside the cocoon

I then pulled the cocoon apart – texture not too different from cotton wool – surprisingly strong, to reveal the empty pupa inside for the first time ……

Caterpillar update - week 3
empty pupa

It’s been a fascinating few weeks in our house.  Although I grew up with all manner of bugs, I’d never seen the actual transformation the caterpillar undertakes, so I learnt a lot.  My son has learnt even more and has been captivated for the entire time.  I think he’ll be a little lost tomorrow morning when there is nothing to check in our storage jar!

Caterpillar update - week 3

27 thoughts on “Caterpillar update – week 3 – we have breaking news!

  1. What a lovely experiment. Monkey is bery brave holding the moth! We had a caterpillar this time last year. His name was Colin. He survived five days then broke a little boy’s heart when he died 🙁

  2. That’s cool! We had a beautiful looking caterpillar last year but I bailed out at last minute and persuaded daughter to re-home ‘him’ in a near by tree!

      1. Yes, it looks brilliant. Will think again next time. In my defence, my son was still quite small and I couldn’t face caring for another small thing. Bit older now, and I have energy to care for more than the basics!!

          1. Yes, it’s the eating thing that confused me. Key is knowing what type of caterpillar you have as some eat very specific tree leaves from what I can tell.

          2. Well, if and when you find a caterpillar, if it’s on the ground it’s almost certainly trying to find somewhere to pupate (Guru Gramps), if its on a leaf then pick those leaves to feed it. You can always email me a photo and I’ll ask Guru Gramps to identify and advise – he’s very good 🙂

          3. Well, I’ll bear that in mind. The one we found last year was on the floor-beautiful colours on it too. May well be tapping into Guru Gramps’ knowledge if we spot any this year!

  3. I’ve loved these posts! Fascinating to see the transformation. If we find a caterpillar, I’ll be in touch to utilise Gure Gramps’ skills…!

    1. Thank you, I’ve really loved writing them, and actually it’s really made me realise what a great childhood I had, we were surrounded by everything from Macaws to Stick Insects. It’s given me a focus for the blog I hadn’t even thought of when I started writing and, I think my Dad is rather chuffed on the quiet 🙂

  4. Wow, that’s amazing! Glad the cat didn’t catch him. My cat is forever catching flies and beasties.

  5. I think Guru Gramps is becoming quite famous!!! You must have had such an interesting upbringing with the knowledgeable Gramps to guide you on all thinks creepy, crawly and beautiful, I think Monkey may be taking a walk in his footsteps by the sound of things. Thanks for sharing Caspers transformation and happy ending with us on Country Kids.

  6. Fantastic! The 7yo was given a butterfly garden for his birthday, so our updates will start soon 🙂 #CountryKids

  7. We’re definitely going to do a butterfly project I think, it gets the kids so excited about nature. Look forward to seeing RSPB posts coming up! 🙂

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