Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Creepy Caterpillars and Beautiful Butterflies

"I've been looking all over the place for you!"

When working in a school, this could mean any number of things, especially when standing at the corner of the corridor that leads to the staff room first thing in the morning before staff briefing... I replied with a tentative "Oh?"

"You've got caterpillars! They arrived in the post this morning, here you go!"

Deposited into my hand was a small box, which yes, did contain five very small caterpillars, much to delight; and much to everyone else's amusement when I announced my new arrivals during staff briefing.

Over the course of the next 20 days, the science department chose five names from a list produced by my year 9 tutor group, my year 10 triple science class and my two year 7 classes. Out of a very long list, we chose: Snellius (after the scientist who came up with Snell's Law), Sherlock, Humphrey, Eugine Phitsherbert and Pingu. My classes watched their development with a mixture of excitement, awe, disgust and doubt. Our creepy caterpillars grew quickly, became chrysalides and turned into beautiful butterflies which we released into the nature area. This is their story in pictures.


12.06.14 (morning)

12.06.14 (afternoon)
Looks like they're getting ready to pupate
All but one are now chrysalides
Over the weekend, the fourth has caught up
After a bit of a fight with the string and the silk they had woven, we transferred them to the hatching habitat
All five had emerged when I arrived at work. We fed them with sugar water and banana.
The red liquid is what they have used to pump out their wings and then expelled.
Release day!
All of the others flew straight out when we opened the lid, but this one seemed reluctant to go...

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