Thursday, 31 July 2014

Round Three - Day One - Look what we found...

Five of these little critters were all on one tiny plant (Groundsel) on a driveway and I had just weed killed the whole gravelled area!! I only noticed them as I had finished and thought I must of killed them or if not I definitely killed all their food :-(  So I scooped them up and brought them home. Looking on the way to find any similar plants - nothing!!

Once we got home I looked up what they are and what they eat. They are Cinnabar Moths and they eat mainly Ragwort or Groundsel. So the hunt was on that evening to try and get them some grub. We had been out for about half an hour and were just about to give up when we came across one lonely Ragwort plant (yippeee!!). Would you believe that this plant also had a caterpillar on it, so now we have six beautiful Cinnabar Moth caterpillars and a bigger task now of feeding six hungry little mouths.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Round Two - Day Seventeen - Doesn't look good!

It doesn't look good for Billy, the Pupa has gone a strange dark brown/red colour and there is a small silky thread appeared from it. It's only eleven days since he changed, so I will wait for a little while longer before I give up completely.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Round Two - Day Six - Pupa already!!

Well that was fast, I was going to try and take some photos today to see if I could get more of a clue of who Billy is, but he has turned in to pupa already. I think it's because it's so warm, the temperature outside is in the late 20's early 30's and has been for a few days.

It shouldn't be too long now before we know exactly what butterfly Billy will be, especially as the temperature looks to be staying in the mid 20's for the next few days.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Round Two - Day Five - That was fast!!

After 5 days of non-stop eating "Billy" (so named as he has no mates) has more than doubled in size and has now assumed the "J" position ready to become a pupa.

He has changed a lot, he has more colour and I'm still not sure what he will turn into.

No photos as we are so busy!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Round Two - Day One - It's a Mystery?

Well today was very strange! We have been looking for caterpillars on and off since the first batch, but haven't seen any. Today we saw caterpillars walking across the road!?!

They were mainly small tortoiseshells, but there was another that we didn't recognise, so he came home with us. I have been trying to work out what he is, but I can't. He looks similar to a few caterpillars I have seen online, but it is hard to make a match.

The mystery caterpillar
As I was unable to identify him for sure, I went with nettles for food as it seems to be the main food plant for most butterflies likely to be in our area. There were no objections and he is munching away!

So, we will shall just have to see what happens next.....