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Monarch Project Fall 2008

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Our butterfly garden is a habitat. A habitat provides food, water, shelter and a place to raise young.

Adult Monarch butterflies sip nectar from flowers but need Milkweed plants for their young.

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 Female Monarchs will only lay eggs on milkweed plants. The Monarch caterpillars eat the milkweed leaves. The white milky latex inside the leaves gives them protection from predators.

 

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The children collect Monarch eggs from the garden by removing the leaf that the egg is on.
The egg will hatch in 3-5 days.

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The children create a little vase for the leaves with a wet paper towel and Saran wrap.The leaf is then placed on a clean,dry paper towel.The caterpillars are reared in Gladware with holes punched in the lids.

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The caterpillars will eat ,grow and shed their skin five times before pupating.
( These stages are called "instars".)The children collect fresh leaves for them each day . When the caterpillar finds the fresh leaf they throw the old leaf out.

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The old paper towels and frass (caterpillar poop) is disposed of and fresh leaves are placed in the container.

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When the caterpillar is the size of a crayon the children take the lid off of the Gladware and place it in the open air screened enclosure.

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This is where the caterpillars will hang in a "J" shape to pupate ( shed their skin for the last time to reveal the jade green chrysalis.) and turn into butterflies.

Click the Monarch butterfly to see more.....

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