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How we raised & released our butterflies

The anticipated day of our pupae hatching finally arrived. We had an inkling that it was going to happen soon when we saw jiggling and squirming in one of the pupa that seemed lifeless the other day. The next morning we saw half of the pupae dropped on the ground or shell dangling on the cloth piece they used during their transformative phase. We recorded the jittering pupa for 20 minutes hoping it’d emerge before our eyes, but the possibility seemed too distant. As a matter of fact, that pupa never hatched.

When the others hatched, they left behind crusty shells, secreted meconium (red liquid from leftover tissue and dye from the metamorphosis process) on the sides and bottom of the habitat, and juice drops from sliced pieces of strawberry and banana laid out on paper towels.

After a week I asked the kids if we could release them. Their life span only lasts between 2-4 weeks and we were keeping them from carrying out their natural instincts of pollinating flowers and reproducing the next generation. The first releasing attempt was a big fail. Two wandered out of the habitat: one disappeared quickly but the other hung around a few minutes on our porch before taking flight by the grassy area. We couldn’t believe it: within seconds of launching into the world it got eaten by a bird in one swoop. Elliot was aghast that our butterfly pet became prey right before our eyes. He refused to release the others that day.

They stayed with us a few more days but it was really time to release them. They made lots of fluttering noises flying rapidly inside the habitat and then total silence as many of them clustered around together for mating. Kids were bemused wondering out loud if they were fighting or wrestling each other. Not quite ready for that talk, I said they’re probably trying to bore an escape hole in the net. Lol. That night we took flight into the wild. It would’ve been ideal to do this at home but we had to do this near the entrance of a hotel lobby when less people were around: long story of a dishwasher leak that required vacating our home while water rescue people tore up half of our kitchen to dry water logged floor and dry out mold inside the cabinets.

Categories: flowers learning with kids science experiments

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singlikewildflowers

Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. My posts revolve around the beauty of nature, homeschooling adventures, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and life as a daydreamer and nature observer. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

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