Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Caterpillar Transformation

It happened quite suddenly. The three caterpillars (see The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly : Brown Caterpillar) had stopped eating, and didn't look well at all. When they crawled, they were intent on pushing their way under the foliage I had supplied, and when they touched each other, they recoiled instantly, as if in disgust. I wondered if they objected to something I had given them to eat. They spurned even the parsley which they had previous enjoyed.

That was about 5 days ago. Since then, I had come to accept that they were either dying (in which case, they probably would not have faired any better outside under a foot of snow), or in the process of transformation. Then tonight, it happened. One of the caterpillars has split its brown skin, to reveal a golden chrysalis. Inside, there are visible eyes and legs, and what seems to be white features. It is too early to speculate, but I am pleased with this development.

The second caterpillar seems not far behind, it has been fairly immobile for a couple of days also, and is shrinking in length, as did this first one, before it shed its skin. The third one is still capable of being mobile, although spends its time sleeping, buried under the paper towel I provided.

1 comment:

Kriste E said...

How nice! A few weeks ago I found a cutworm just like yours in my supermarket salad and as it was frosty outside, I decided to keep it and feed it. And just like yours it has transformed into a brown cocoon. It is amazing to watch the process so closely! Glad to know I am not crazy :))

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