Homeschool Creations

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Swallowtail Dilemma

This isn't anything earth shattering, but I'm having a bit of a dumb dilemma. We found a caterpillar on Labor Day {swallowtail} and brought it home to watch something different after all of the Monarch hatchings we'd had.

He ate. He grew. He made his cozy home. He hasn't come out yet.

Much of the research I did pointed to him emerging between 2 and 3 weeks later, and we are well passed that time frame. Of course, the research ALSO says they can stay in their cozy home all winter long.

Which means I have a bug container sitting out on my counter - ALL WINTER LONG.

I'm tempted to stick him up high, but then what if I forget about him, he emerges and then dies because I didn't notice?

Or worse, what happens if he emerges in the middle of the winter and I have no way of keeping him alive because I can't release him outside?

Or what if it's a dud?

What, oh what, is a mom to do? Would you keep it? Be a brute and 'dispose' of it outside?

Help a mom out and give me some ideas!!! What would you do?

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5 Comments:

  • Maybe leave him in the jar in the backyard? That way he's not in the way all winter long, but you'll be going in and out and see him, so you don't forget. Also, this more accurately simulates winter, (being outside and all), so you can see how the chrysalis reacts to cold.

    By Blogger Ticia, At October 7, 2009 at 4:46 PM  

  • Um... that's a very good question. Not gonna lie, I would not want to be in your position.

    Personally I would probably just keep him on the counter and see what happens. Although I agree with what Ticia said about placing him outside so he knows it's winter.

    Yeah, I don't know.

    By Blogger Morgan, At October 7, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

  • Leave a comment for my friend, Lisa. She'll be able to tell you what to do...

    http://5orangepotatoes.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/raising-eastern-black-swallowtail-caterpillars/

    She is a nature goddess. ;o)

    By Blogger Jessica, At October 7, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

  • I'm in the same spot. I just leave mine in the jar on the sunporch (it does get chilly out there without a fire). I figure if he's not done with his metamorphisis by about April he's a dud. He's been in there since late July or very early August.

    Sigh...

    By Blogger Joesette, At October 7, 2009 at 5:53 PM  

  • Can you take him carefully out and put it in a tree or bush or something? Then you won't have to worry about him and you can let nature take it coarse?

    By Blogger Packer Family, At October 7, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

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