Insect Lore Live Cup of 5 Caterpillars to Butterflies - Butterfly Growing Kit REFILL - SHIP NOW
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Three to five painted lady caterpillars with food
- Three butterflies are guaranteed to be perfect specimens
- Comes with full instructions and butterfly facts
- Buy this with your Insect Lore Butterfly Garden
- Available only in the continental U.S, Alaska and are not eligible for shipping to Hawaii for regulatory reasons.
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From the manufacturer
Watch caterpillars change into butterflies before your very eyes!
Insect Lore’s Cup of Caterpillars includes 5 caterpillars and all of the nutritious food they need to develop into beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies. Observe the miraculous butterfly life cycle up close in your own home or classroom. The entire project takes approximately three weeks.
Recommended for Ages 4 and Up
Insect Lore Habitats
The Cup of Caterpillars is meant as a refill for any of the many Insect Lore Butterfly Habitats including:
- Butterfly Garden
- Butterfly Pavilion
- Giant Butterfly Garden
Live Caterpilars Delivered Direct to You
A Hands on Learning Expierence for Your Young Scientist
Keeping the caterpillars out of direct sunlight, children can watch them eat, grow, and after seven to ten days, form their chrysalides and begin their transformation into butterflies. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly normally takes two to three weeks: seven to ten days in caterpillar stage, and seven to ten days in chrysalis stage. Insect Lore guarantees that at least three of the five caterpillars you receive will grow into adult butterflies.
The Cup of Caterpillars Includes:
- A cup of 5 caterpillars with all the nutritious food they need to grow into lovable Painted Lady Butterflies
- The Caterpillar Quick Guide.
- Feeding Pipette
- Please Note: You will need an Insect Lore Butterfly Habitat to house your butterflies
Witness the Butterfly Life-Cycle
See your Caterpillars Grow 10 times their original size!
Your Cup of Caterpillars will arrive at your door in a clear plastic cup complete with nutritious food. This cup will house your caterpillars until they change into chrysalides, so be sure to keep it in a safe place away from direct sunlight or drafts. Children will marvel at how much their caterpillars eat and how quickly they grow! After seven to ten days, the caterpillars will stop eating and will climb to the top of the cup. Once there, they will attach themselves to the paper disk under the lid of the cup, hang upside down and transform into chrysalides.
The Miracle of Metamorphosis
Once your chrysalides have hardened (after about two to three days), it’s time to move them into their butterfly habitat. Carefully remove the lid of the cup and pin the paper disk with the chrysalides attached to the lower inside of the habitat. For approximately seven to ten days, an amazing change takes place inside the chrysalides! The caterpillar parts inside the chrysalis gradually liquefy and reform into a beautiful butterfly.
Once your butterflies have emerged, they will depend on you for their dinner! Drip a few drops of sugar water, or nectar, on the red sponge in your special butterfly feeder. The butterflies will unfurl their long proboscises to sip the nectar. Don’t forget to provide fresh slices of orange or watermelon for your butterflies as well.
Let them Go!
Children often become attached to their butterfly friends, but it is best to release them into the wild within a week of their emergence from the chrysalides. After you have watched and cared for your butterflies for a few days, take the habitat outdoors and let your children experience the special joy of setting them free. Your special Painted Lady Butterflies may choose to remain in your yard for a few days.
From the Manufacturer
Three to five Painted Lady caterpillars with food. Three butterflies are guaranteed to be perfect specimens. Comes with full instructions and butterfly facts. Allow approximately 3 weeks for your caterpillars to develop. Available only in the continental U.S. and Alaska.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a fascinating process to watch. You may wonder how a company can ship live caterpillars without injuring them, but you'll understand when the cup arrives in the mail. The caterpillars at that point are the size of apple seeds and they are safely suspended in silk webs. They also don't move much at all that first day, so don't be alarmed by that. The next morning you'll wake up to find your caterpillars have somehow doubled in size overnight. And you'll continue to notice this day after day. They practically grow before your eyes.
Around day 7 (and I'm counting the days from the date of the arrival of the cup in the mail), our now huge caterpillars became very active and were frantically working at the top of the cup for hours. I had a feeling they were getting ready to pupate because of the sudden change in behavior. As expected, on day 8 they assumed their J positions and began to transform one by one. You would think it would take a while for a caterpillar to become a chrysalis, but it only takes a minute. It is so fast I was never able to catch any of them transforming "live". I would walk out of the room for a minute, go back in, and another one had transformed. So I recommend once your caterpillars get into position, keep a close eye on them so you might catch the transformation live. (If you miss it, there's a lot of YouTube videos where others have caught it.) It amazes me how they go from huge, super active caterpillars to small, hard as a rock statues in a matter of hours.
We did have some bad news though. At some point when they were getting into their J positions one of the caterpillars must have knocked another down from the top, and he was sort of suspended in a web in a j-shape. It wasn't looking good for the poor guy but there wasn't anything I could do to help him without sacrificing the other caterpillars. He did transform, but in the process fell into the food in the bottom of the cup and was laying there in all the muck. Normally you would wait a few days before moving the chrysalids to the enclosure, but I went ahead and moved them the following day because I was concerned for the poor guy at the bottom. I did as the instructions on Insect Lore's site said and carefully moved him out of the cup using a plastic spoon. However, his chrysalis never looked exactly like the others (it was oddly shaped) so I didn't have high hopes for him.
Days 9-15 were boring. After a week of seeing nothing happen, you start to wonder, "are there really living butterflies in there?" But nature is so amazing. On day 16 we woke up and a butterfly must have just emerged as he was just standing there next to the empty shell and hadn't expelled any meconium yet. (Note: when they do that, it's kind of scary. They appear to be bleeding to death. But it's supposed to happen and it's not blood so don't worry about it.) Within minutes the next butterfly emerged. You can tell they are about to come out because suddenly the chrysalis becomes transparent and you can clearly see the wings. If you look at my Day 16 - 10 AM photo you can see that the chrysalis to the right of the butterfly is almost completely transparent and about to emerge any second. The one to the left of the butterfly is starting to darken a bit, which happens about an hour before it turns transparent. The one below and to the left of the butterfly has not yet started to change in appearance at all. And the poor dude laying there on the bottom of the picture was our possible casualty.
Once you notice a change in the chrysalids' appearance, especially when they become transparent, don't blink or you'll miss it. I literally went and brushed my teeth and came back and butterfly #2 was out. So I got the camera ready when #3 became transparent and was able to capture the "birth" on camera, which was fascinating (my 2 year old, of course, loved seeing that). #4 ran about 24 hours behind the others and emerged just before we woke up on day 17. I was just amazed that after a week of "hibernation" 3 of the butterflies emerged within minutes of each other. It's as if they communicate with each other telepathically from the chrysalids and say "ok let's get out of here!"
Caterpillar #5 (The one who fell while pupating) is a mystery to me. I thought he was a goner. His chrysalis never looked quite right. Then on day 17 after #4 emerged, #5's chrysalis started looking really bad. It turned this dark greenish black color and started oozing. It had a horribly deformed shape. We could see pieces of the butterfly through it, but it looked deader than dead. I let it rest for several hours in that state and saw no change. So I took the really sorry looking chrysalis out of the enclosure, considered it a casualty and planned to bring it out to the garden later. I was quite shocked when I went back into the kitchen an hour later and there was a butterfly on my kitchen counter. I have no idea how on earth a living creature came out of that rotten-looking chrysalis, but there he was. I was shocked. I put him in the enclosure with the other butterflies and he was walking around and doing ok. Unfortunately he has deformed, underdeveloped wings and will never fly. I don't have the heart to kill him, so I'm just going to let him live out his 2 weeks of life in the butterfly enclosure. Poor little dude.
Overall, this is just a really inexpensive way to entertain your kids (and yourself) for about 3 weeks and it will give you a new-found appreciation for nature's wonders.
Update: Just thought I'd add in here that our deformed butterfly actually lived a full and happy butterfly life (2 weeks) in the enclosure sipping oranges. I couldn't believe it!
1. You do need a habitat for them after they are in their chrysalises. Many habitats come with a certificate for live larvae. This product is just the larvae (caterpillars). It comes with a cup with food in it for them until the make their chrysalis.
2. Once they make their chrysalis, you need to move them to the actual habitat, which is usually a pop up house made from a netting material. The easiest thing to do is just take the lid from the cup that this comes with (since they attach themselves to the lid) and hook it into your habitat. The dried food (and poop) is disgusting, but by just moving the lid, you don't need to touch the disgusting part.
3. It usually takes them 2-3 weeks to turn into a butterfly.
4. It comes with several caterpillars because they don't all survive. Although I've never had all of the five caterpillars turn into butterflies, I've always had at least three butterflies in the end. Typically, I end up with four of them.
5. Insectlore.com offers the larvae AND pop-up habitat for $14.99 plus shipping as of 4/14/11.