Name: Hannah M.
Date: June 5, 2001
Why do some caterpillars have spikes on their backs? Also, I found
some caterpillars and caterpillar eggs in my tree today. I put the
eggs in a jar so I can be a scientist and look at them. I put three
in a different jar with leaves and branches so I can watch them too.
Can I keep the jars in my kitchen or where should I keep them? Do I need
water in the jars or fresh leaves? Is there any thing else I need
to know to take care of them?
Hi dear Hannah!
you are indeed becoming a scientist! isnt that nice?
Caterpillars have spikes in their backs to defend themselves to
be attacked or eaten by other insects ( or bigger animals) .
It is possible to keep your caterpillars in jars with leaves, the
same kind where you found them. Let also some drops of water
over the leaves and at the botton of the jar. If you want to keep
them for a few days you should close the jar but let some
openings so they can have air to breath.
Observe them for a while , i cannot assure you that the eggs
will hatch beeing in a strange environnement. The caterpillars
are very voracious, that means they eat a lot, i mean a lot!
So put a lot of leaves. So far, so good. But you know, maybe
they will die soon because a jar is not their real place!
In the mean time observe well these little beeings. Are not
others in the tree where you can check also?
But be very careful. Do not touch them with your bare hands.
They can bite you!
And...why not tell us about your findings on caterpillars?
Write back to that same adress. We will be very glad to
hear from our little scientist.
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
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Update: June 2012