Friday, August 23, 2013

We've got lots of bugs and critters

We found a little snake. It was remarkably small.

The girl was eager to hold it, but it was too fast and got away from her. I love that she's not afraid of crawlies.

A few weeks ago, the kids found a couple of hornworms in the garden. They decided that they wanted to see what type of moth they would turn into, so they went into the bug aquarium with a piece of a tomato plant. The tomato plant didn't last long, and before we knew it we were having to add ever larger pieces daily. Eventually, one of the hornworms (which was absolutely enormous), started acting weird. That's when we learned that hornworms want to burrow underground to pupate. We added a few inches of soil to the bug aquarium, and it dug right in. The other one followed a day or two later, but never got to the impressive size of the first one.

Today we decided to see what was going on in there. It has been a few weeks since they went underground, and we weren't sure if they were still alive. This is what we found.

They are pretty funny creatures, and caused lots of giggles. When disturbed, they thrash and wiggle, much like they do in their larval stage, but much weirder since they look like an alien movie prop. The smaller one was especially active and made the kids a little nervous. Didn't stop the girl from wanting to hold them.

The boy spent a lot of time in his butterfly and moth guide this afternoon, and learned that these most likely aren't tomato hornworms like we originally thought, but tobacco hornworms. They look nearly identical in their larval stage, but we'll know for sure once they emerge.

Sometimes we even eat butterflies :)
This is our snack rendition of monarchs stopping to eat and rest on some butterfly bush blossoms.


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