Thursday, May 24, 2012

Metamorphosis of a Painted Lady

I recently mentioned that we ordered a home butterfly kit (one dozen caterpillars) from Butterflies and Roses.  Today, we released the twelfth and final butterfly (100% success).  I documented our experience. 

May 3
May 9th
May 14th between 3-4cm
At this point,we have had the caterpillars for 11 days.  It is important to remove all the waste from the cups between day 7 to 11.
By this time, about half of the caterpillars had reached the chrysalis stage.    The chrysalis affixes itself to the paper and then you tape the paper to the top of the butterfly castle.
On May 21st (17 days after we received our caterpillars), the butterflies began to emerge.
When the butterfly emerges from the pupa,the butterfly emits a red liquid. The liquid looks like blood, but it is just waste (meconium).
After emerging, the butterflies need a little time to find their  wings and learn how to use them.  In about an hour or so they will be fluttering inside the castle and it will be soon time to say farewell.
IMG_9365 Over the past few days, we have had a series of release parties and it was really kind of special.
Thanks for stopping by,


  1. you are such an awesome mom! your kids are real lucky to have you. when i become a mom i want to be just like you!

  2. Your right - it really is special...we never get tired of it here - not even my husband Tim.

  3. What an amazing activity and a great success! It is a real achievement to be able to release them all into the surrounding environment. I hope they all find mates and reproduce. Maybe you'll see their offspring flying around for years to come!

  4. When my kids saw this project, they immediately wanted we do the same!!

    Thank you, thank you so much for documenting this! It was such a success!

  5. What an amazing process to share with your girls. Thank you for sharing it with us too.

  6. we did this for the first time last summer, a nice learning experience & this reminds me that I should order some again for this summer...

  7. A lot of work with a huge payoff. Hooray for 100%

  8. A lot of work with a huge payoff. Hooray for 100%

  9. Isn't nature amazing? We haven't done any insect stuff so far this year, I think we must rectify that after seeing your lovely photos.
    KJ you must get ladybirds next, if anything I think they are even more exciting!
    Kate x
    PS - love the look of your ice cream, very amused to hear about the peanut butter ice cream thief in your home though!

  10. Those kits are lovely. They would make a fantastic classroom activity.

  11. What a wonderful project, and your pictures are beautiful. I am a little spooked by being close to butterflies, but this looks like such a great experience.

  12. Oh my gosh how amazing! Every year I say to myself "I'm going to hang out by the milkweed plants until we find some monarch eggs." Alas, every year I forget. Loved the post.

  13. So amazing for your kids to see this firsthand! Lovely!

  14. I love seeing the series of photos, KJ. I can't believe you had 100% success... that's amazing! What an experience!


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