Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mourning Cloak

Yesterday Sara and Debbie were picking leaves off of our trees trying to find ones that had bug bites in them. On closer inspection we found one tree had quite a few leaves eaten off. I pointed out to the girls that there was a lot of caterpillar manure on the ground below the trees. This lead to a scavenger hunt to see if we could find the culprits.Meet the larva of the Nymphalis antiopa or Mourning Cloak Butterfly.You can see what a Mourning Cloak looks like here. We captured two caterpillars by clipping the twigs they were on and sticking them in jars. We are going to feed, water, and observe them hopefully all the way through the chrysalis stage. We can't wait to see them emerge as butterflies!

6 comments:

wild murdocks said...

Very nice bug pictures, and fun times learning about nature through the scavanger hunt! River would love for the girls to send him any pictures of bugs they find to post on his blog:

alinamurdock@hotmail.com

Corrie said...

What does caterpillar manure look like?

My kids will be watching the progress of your bugs.

Calandria said...

That is pretty observant to notice the caterpillar droppings! I'll have to tell my kids that trick. We have lots of Mourning Cloak here for some reason. My kids go out every evening and catch them.

nestle said...

... ok so I was going to put "should I be concerned that you know what caterpillar manure looks like" when I saw corrie's comment. lol!!

athena said...

great capture! and a great idea. a lot cheaper than purchasing them (which is what we did a couple years ago). now we use the net to transport our birds whenever the kids what to take the birds outside.

Julie said...

Pretty cool! We've got a butterfly forming a chrysalis in our kitchen right now as well. One of my husband's clients (also a good friend) found a Black Swallowtail caterpillar in her dill and put it in a jar for a "science experiment" for our kids. :-)