Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 26, 2009 Day 11 First Chrysalides Formed!

Happy Thanksgiving! Caterpillars are home with me over break so that they can maintain their optimum growth at temperatures between 70 and 72 degrees and have 12 hours of daylight. These are the photos I collected at noontime and again just before midnight.

Our first J-stage caterpillars appeared in the morning; all other caterpillars were resting or eating. The two J-stage caterpillars were the ones who were the previously discolored, splotchy caterpillars we put in isolation and fed milkweed leaves for the past few days.

The next time I checked them was around midnight. Some caterpillars were still resting, some were eating, some seemed to be making silk beds, a few more were in J-stage, and finally, we had our first two chrysalides visible!

Note of interest: Visible in one photo is the pink-hued frass that is common for a caterpillar when it "empties its gut" prior to J-stage, and visible in another is a dark pile of caterpillar skin that was shed as the chrysalis was revealed.

For more photos, please click on the slide show at the side bar of this blog!

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