On the same evening, we noticed one more green coloured caterpillar on the plant. This time, I suggested that we put the caterpillar in a bottle and watch it grow and become a butterfly – the Common Mormon.
For this experiment, we tool a plastic bottle and poked may holes in it. The holes would provide air for the caterpillar once we closed the bottle top. We picked the leaf with the caterpillar and put it into the bottle. We also put some curry leaves for the caterpillar to eat.
We watched the progress of the caterpillar each morning and evening.
The caterpillar was green in colour and a voracious eater. When disturbed, it raised two Red ‘horns’ from the top of its head, to scare the attacker.
I told my children that it would take around two weeks for the caterpillar to become a cocoon and then a few more weeks for the butterfly to emerge. We are anxiously looking forward for this to happen.
Unfortunately, the experiment did not succeed. A couple of days ago – a week since we put the caterpillar in the bottle – the caterpillar decided to curl up and die. So sad!! We were looking forward to see it become a beautiful butterfly!
- Common Mormon (Papilio polytes), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papilio_polytes
- Common Mormon, http://www.indianaturewatch.net/view_cat.php?tag=Common%20Mormon
- Papilio polytes Female, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Papilio_polytes_Female.jpg
- Common Mormon caterpillar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CommonMormon_cat_sec.jpg
- Common Mormon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Commonmormon_ad_sec.jpg