Monday, September 28, 2009

It's a Boy!

Or maybe a girl. I can't determine the gender of a butterfly. This is a gulf fritillary.

My husband found a chrysalis the other day. We brought it in and put it in a gallon jar, then put a coffee filter on top with a rubber band around it. He also found a caterpillar that had just started turning into a chrysalis, and one that looked like it was about to attach itself, so they went in the jar, too. We'll have 2 more butterflies this week!

Since we're homeschooling, I thought this would be a great experiment for Olivia. (Of course, any kid will enjoy watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly.) We can cover a multitude of subjects. For example, I'm going to have her draw the life cycle of a butterfly (science and art). We can read about butterflies and passion vines (library skills, reading, and botany). We can also read about harvesting passion fruit (gardening and economics).

We took the new butterfly out of the jar.

Here you can see the upper sides of its wings.

It landed on my robe for a few seconds.

This is the gulf fritillary's caterpillar. Here you'll find some other pictures of the butterfly and caterpillar, as well as a passion flower.

The passion vine (or passion plant) is the only larval food plant for the gulf fritillary. This is a young shoot. The vines send runners underground and the plant spreads like a weed.

The passion vine produces passion fruit. I read that the fruit falls off when it's ripe.

No comments:

Post a Comment