To Top

It's pupating where??...

If you're going to raise caterpillars, at some point you have to figure out what your philosophy is about restraining them. Not that this is an issue early in the life of a caterpillar, because during the first 4 instars all they want to do is eat, nap, shed, deposit numerous special dimpled poop pellets, and grow. But when they've expanded to the max and have flushed their intestinal tracts (poopation), many of them are eager to hit the road. That's when the caretaker has to make the tough decisions.

At first, it seemed right to let them roam far and wide while keeping an eye on them. After all, the tendency to roam is a powerful instinct, and surely putting a roaming caterpillar in a small container with a twig might lead to some form of psychological derangement, or perhaps stunt the development of its sense of direction as a butterfly...who knows. Trouble was, it was very difficult to keep an eye on them. Get distracted for five or ten minutes, and poof---gone! A roamer moves fast. I'd end up gently peeling them off the walls, off the side of the washing machine, or find one marching purposefully along the kitchen floor. On several occasions, I'd simply lose the cat for a few hours or a day and only find it after it had attached itself to something I wished it hadn't attached itself to. So I have decided to compromise---each cat gets to roam for a while---long enough to climb up the wall next to the condo, or to climb up a wooden dowel that I leave propped up next to the condo. But then it's into the yogurt container (or other, better container) and onto the twig.

Still, I manage to lose one from time to time, and eventually locate it attached to some object...almost any object will do.

A somewhat rusty crowbar...

The side of a cardboard box...

The inside wall of a yogurt container, even though there was a perfectly good twig in there at the time...

On a macrame flowerpot hanger...

On some rubber tubing...(this guy was successfully peeled off before he finished attaching himself).

On a rusty nail in a cobwebby corner...

Or...oops...there was lots of vacant surface remaining on the stick, but this one must have been worried about getting lonely during his time as a chrysalis. Let's hope all his anchoring silk doesn't interfere with the other one's emergence.

Update on the above--not a problem. Here are the two empty pupas a couple of weeks later:

Home