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Name: Liesl
Status: educator
Grade: K-3
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2012


Question:
Our class is enjoying watching the life cycle unfold of what appears to ultimately become a monarch butterfly. Our caterpillars are still young, and we've discovered that they are spinning webs. Your site said that some caterpillars have spinnerets while others have silk glands in their feet. Where would a spinneret be in the caterpillar's body? Would our monarch caterpillars have spinnerets or silk glands?



Replies:
This article says that butterfly caterpillars molt their old skin as they grow bigger. This may be what you are seeing.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/butterfly/anatomy/
Caterpillar.shtml

Our class is enjoying watching the life cycle unfold of what appears to ultimately become a monarch butterfly. Our caterpillars are still young, and we've discovered that they are spinning webs. Your site said that some caterpillars have spinnerets while others have silk glands in their feet. Where would a spinneret be in the caterpillar's body? Would our monarch caterpillars have spinnerets or silk glands?

I found reference to the monarch’s “spinneret” in this report:

http://monarchwatch.org/space/Monarchs-in-Space.pdf

The easiest way is to do a word search for “spinneret” which can be found on pages 1, 2, & 11.

I’ll attach the document for you.

Sincere regards,
Mike Stewart


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