two cocoons but no moth

Our 2nd woolly caterpillar finally spun into a cocoon on 17 May 09. We are still waiting patiently for them to emerge into moth stage, but I have this feeling that it is not going to happen. The first cocoon was accidentally knocked off from the lid where it was attached. According to my mom who has reared some butterflies before, if the cocoon is not hanging, the moth will die even if it did emerge from the case. Oh well… I have already prepared the girl for this and she seems cool about it.

At school, the girl’s teacher got two caterpillars and both already turned into a butterfly and a moth. That’s also one of the reason why I think ours will not make it to the final stage because our first cocoon was found around the same time. Anyway, the girl was really excited because she was the first person to spot the moth that had just emerge from its chrysalis. It is beautiful! :)

Updates on our woolly bear caterpillar – the fuzzy cocoon!!

Exciting news to share…
One of our woolly bear caterpillars has spun into a fuzzy cocoon!
(Picture coming soon…)

We read that the transformation would take about 2 weeks for the moth to emerge from the cocoon. We hope we will be able to see the moth soon. :)

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Introducing our new addition – Yangyang, the crawl-very-fast woolly bear caterpillar!

The girl found Yangyang while raking the leaves in our yard with DH. She was super excited about her find and quickly asked for our permission to keep this caterpillar with her Maomao. Of course, we had to agree. With the new addition, I think the chances of seeing the caterpillar emerge into moth stage will be higher now. Wish us luck! :)

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Since last weekend, our woolly bear caterpillar Maomao hasn’t been eating anything and it has curled itself like a fur ball. A quick check on the internet resources, we found out that our caterpillar is ready to hibernate for winter. How exciting! Now we have to put the caterpillar in a place where it is unheated like the shed or basement and wait till next Spring for it to become active again. Hopefully by then, we will get to see it transforms into a beautiful moth. :)

Frankly speaking, I actually wanted to release Maomao back to the nature. I was worried about whether we can provide enough food and the right environment for the caterpillar to strive and grow into a moth. If it dies because we didn’t do a good job in taking care of the caterpillar, I would feel really upset and guilty. If it wasn’t The girl, who is so fond of the caterpillar and assured me that she would take care of Maomao, I would have release it. But I’m so glad now that I didn’t because if I did, I wouldn’t know how responsible my daughter is. *Proud mama*

Everyday after school, the girl would take time to choose the best leaves on the branches to give to Maomao. She would also clean out the dried old leaves and once every few days, she would even empty the container to get rid of the poops of the caterpillar!! As she is really responsible and attentive towards the caterpillar, I didn’t even have to do anything! I’m praying hard that her effort will not go wasted and Maomao will emerge into a beautiful moth in a few months time.


The girl caring for Maomao.

It is so true that getting a pet would help to teach young children about responsibility and other important life lessons such as discipline, patience, kindness and attentiveness. But if you are not ready to make a long term commitment to a pet like us, I highly recommend you to rear a caterpillar! :)

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