Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Introducing Chompy

Every kid should raise a caterpillar.



Last weekend Luke and Emma found a caterpillar while at on a nature hike at my grandmother's lake home. We weren't sure of the species but we liked it because it was different from any other caterpillar we had seen before. So, being the good (or bad depending on your perspective) parents we are, we agreed to put it in a plastic container, bring it home, and to see what would happen. Because my son is young enough that he still names things based on their appearance or behavior, we have decided to call our caterpillar Chompy. Keep in mind we had no idea what sort of animal we were introducing into our house but I was confident in the notion that if need be I could step on it and come up with some lame excuse later on.

Thank goodness for the internet. With a quick Google I found out a few days ago that the caterpillar in question is a White-Marked Tussock Moth. For the last few days we have been watching excitedly as it ate every leaf we put in it's bucket and left us with copious amounts of fecal matter. Yesterday it began to spin a cocoon. This is what it should look like once it emerges.

I haven't found any information to tell me that it should be a nuisance but just in case I think I'll borrow some moth balls from my grandmother.

9 comments:

Heather said...

Wow! That is one seriously cool moth and catterpiller. And cool parents too. I never did try to raise a catterpillar, but tadpoles, oh the tadpoles... None ever made it to full froghood, but I tried! Maybe that'll be an upcoming post for my blog... hmmm...

Erin said...

Orygia leucostigma! That's one of like, five species that I actually know the scientific name for. I spent one summer working in a butterfly lab, and we raised these guys. They are really pretty, but be careful not to touch the hairs - you can get an itchy rash from them.

Attila The Mom said...

I found one when I was about 12 and it turned out to be a gorgeous butterfly.

What a great project!

The Boy said...

Whatta ya gonna do with the mothballs? Throw them if he attacks?

Nikki said...

STEP ON IT! when the kids aren't looking of course.

ICK

frankengirl said...

It just amazes me what kids introduce into our lives. The magic, the mystery and of course, the fecal matter - ;)

Me said...

Wow. A moth.
And one bought in by the parents.
You guys are pretty amazing!!
I need to take some nature hikes

St Jude said...

You've got to post pictures when it emerges.

Kevin Charnas said...

Have you ever smelled moth balls??? How'd you get their little legs apart?


I've always loved that joke.