My little caterpillars are growing up so fast! I've been diligently documenting their growth, and thought I'd share a bit of what's been going on with this quickly-snowballing-out-of-control adventure...
First! Enjoy this short film of the gang I put together. I recommend watching it in HD.
Next, some facts:
- Caterpillars eat A LOT of leaves, and need fresh branches of them every day, which means...
- Caterpillars poop A LOT. It's called frass. Their home needs to be made frass free on the daily.
- One of my caterpillars is a total asshole and strikes at anything that comes near it like a snake. The rest are not creeps.
- One of the caterpillars never grew very much, and sadly it died. I buried it in the Planter Shmanter box. I'm not unconvinced the aforementioned a-hole caterpillar wasn't somehow involved.
- I just learned Blinded Sphinx caterpillars do something called "overwintering," which means they burrow into the dirt to pupate and stay there all winter before they turn into a moth. All winter!
- I'm contemplating some sort of outdoor terrarium with dirt at the bottom for them to stay in for the winter.
- Again, WHAT AM I DOING?
Look at how teensy that egg is (and ignore how badly I need hand lotion). I didn't realize then they were green because what was INSIDE the egg was green. The egg itself was transparent. They were laid on the July 8th, this was somewhere around July 15th.
Hatched and on the move! On July 21st a total of eight caterpillars hatched out of the 12 eggs I brought inside. The pic above is about four days after hatching.
July 26th. I read they got the "sphinx" part of their name from this proud looking pose they do when they are resting, like a sphinx!
July 28th. Look at how their black horns have turned stripey!
August 6th. You should enlarge that picture above, it's super detailed. They are starting to get really beefy!
To the naked eye they look really soft and smooth, but look at those spines on their horns!
They really are so fascinating. However, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be keeping these guys. They are getting big, and now would be a good time to either let them go or commit to going all the way... but I don't think I have a winter-long project in me. We'll see.
Oh, and the eggs I left outside to see if mother nature would do her thing? She did.
They hatched about a week after the indoor kids. I helped get them back to a tree they could munch on and, wished them luck.