Barefoot by the Sea: Butterfly Family!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Butterfly Family!

Last year, we raised a little butterfly family and got the opportunity to learn all about their transformation from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finally to insect!  You can read more about that and watch their release here.  When Sydney received 15 more for her birthday this year,  we were up for the it! 

This year, both girls kept a nature journal to document their transformation.  Here is a photo of their habitat where we observe the little guys.  On the left are the 8 chrysalis (only 8 out of the 10 caterpillars survived) and on the right are the other 5 in the habitat we used last year.  It seemed to take longer for them to go from each stage last year, I'm not sure if it's because we obseved them in late Fall or if it's because of our super humid weather but the caterpillars ate A LOT and grew quickly. 
The girls enjoyed documenting their progress and naming each one...
Yesterday morning, we woke to find three painted lady butterflies, just hatched.  I'm really hoping to see a few actually emerge from their chrysalis this year.  The ones in the right habitat are shaking a lot inside of their chrysalis (a natural defense mechanism) and I'm hopeful we'll spot them as they emerge.   When they first come out, they are still for a while.  "How would you feel if you just got out of a chrysalis Mom?"  Sydney said....good point!
We're excited to watch their first movements....mostly walking up and down the netting...
We prepared their "feast" of fresh flowers, sprinkled with sugar water and oranges.  We read they also love watermelon so they will be dining on that at some point this week as well!
We are anxious for the other new arrivals!


  1. oranges, i never knew that! very cool! glad the girls are having fun with their nature journals!

  2. And watermelon :)! It's such a great experience, I have to remember to get Emma a kit next year for her birthday!!!!

  3. No matter how many times I think about butterflies, it is still amazing to me.

  4. That is such a cool idea, I love that the girls documented the progress

  5. Congratulations on finding a fun and rewarding educational experience for your girls. Our family has raised monarch butterflies much in the same way for the last 9 years! It never gets old! Temperature and a variety of other factors influence how long they are in the stage of the chyrsalis. We've only raised monarchs, so I can't comment on your species specifically. If you want to visit a wonderful website that has a lot to see regarding butterfly life cycles, visit Journey North! I wish you the best! Glad to know there are others out there doing this wonderful summer activity. Carol from Carol's Jewelry Orchard on etsy.

  6. Thanks Susan & Michelle, it has been so much fun, I highly recommend giving it a try! Carol, thanks for Journey North! I'm really looking forward to learning more about them - next I hope to raise some monarchs!


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