How can you tell if a Caterpillar is in a cocoon or dead? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 04-13-2007, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
hunnybumm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Goldsboro, NC
Posts: 3,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That pretty much covers my question. We have found a million caterpillars in our yard over the past few days. 3yo DS has kept some in a bug jar in the house, he takes them out for regular walks and play time around the house. He likes to rotate them so they all get a chance. Well during the night some of them have started forming what looks like a cocoon. But I remember from my childhood that when my caterpillars use to die they would form what looked like a cocoon but it turned out they were dead.

I am trying to teach my son that they turn into butterflies, he sorta gets the concept but I would like for him to see this on his own. I think it would be a wonderful learning experience. Especially since he has been so very gentle with the caterpillars. I am truly amazed at how few he has accidently killed. He just loves these little buggers.

So how can I tell if we should throw them out, or put them in a different (safer) jar until they possibly become butterflies or moths?

*cross posted in TAO, not sure of the proper forum lol*
hunnybumm is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 04-13-2007, 06:13 PM
 
AuntLavender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
2 years ago I recall it took 2-3 weeks for them to emerge. If something went wrong and the caterpillar died it would turn to soup. By this I mean eventually it woul split on it's own and you'd see dark red or dark brown like liquid in the bottom of your butterfly habitat. Gross!

I say just give it more time!

When a butterfly was going to emerge it would becomes clear and you could actually see the butterfly all tucked up in there! That's how you knew to keep checking because pretty soon a butterfly would come out!

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10 (AS), 9, 7, and 46 mos (HFA)
AuntLavender is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 04-13-2007, 07:43 PM
 
True Blue's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Posts: 4,686
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It also depends on the type of caterpillar. Butterflies make a chrysalis, which is more of a hard shell that forms from their outer skin layer, but moths spin a coccoon of silk-like thread. (I think I have that right, anyway lol) But yes it does take a couple weeks for them to emerge. I think I woud transfer the ones in the "coccoons" and see what happens!

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
True Blue is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 04-13-2007, 07:48 PM
 
Mallory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wesley, AR
Posts: 2,576
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sometimes they stop half changed, and that is a bad sign.

Live ones usually will wiggle too, not a lot but they do squirm still.
Mallory is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 04-14-2007, 01:04 AM
 
smurphygt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 534
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you know what type of caterpillars they are? We've found this site really useful in identifying all sorts of creatures. http://www.whatsthatbug.com/ Once you identify them, you can learn more about their life cycle and what they'll turn into.

We were recently waiting on a tobacco hornworm to emerge as a moth, but we finally realized it had died. We could tell because it no longer squirmed when we touched it.
smurphygt is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off