We studied the life cycle of a caterpillar turning into a monarch butterfly. Baby caterpillars (larve) hatch from an egg on a milkweed leaf thus beginning the life of the caterpillar. The first instar of a baby caterpillar happens after they hatch they are roughly 2-4 mm in length and don’t move as much eating the milkweed they were born on. After the second instar where the caterpillar mults they are 6-9 mm in length and are starting to move more often but spending all day eating and producing a lot of frass. The third instar occurs and the caterpillar is 10-14 mm in length leaving its old skin behind. On the 4th instar the caterpillar in length is 13-25 mm in length and on its way to the final stage of the pupal stage. On the 5th instar we see drastic change in the caterpillar it went from 2-4 mm in length to 25-45 mm in length.
The caterpillar goes through a molting phase where it transforms into a chrysalis from there it will hang for 10-14 days then completing the transformation process into a monarch butterfly. They fly south to mexico where they lay more eggs then some make the journey back but others die and their kids carry on the legacy of going back and forth.
I learned how to observe and take notes on the interesting process of life through the monarch butterflies perspective. I also found out how to make a data spreadsheet chart of the data that we took on the monarch butterflies. Another major thing I learned is taking detailed notes in a science lab or in anything is very important and will help you no matter what in the long run. Having notes down to the smallest detail are good even if its too detailed you are still taking something out of it and will have that stored in your brain for the rest of your life.
We also learned how to tend to and care for a monarch which is not a huge responsibility but it did teach us some aspects of being responsible and having patience. Something things we had to do included giving it the right amount of food everyday, clean the frass out of the container without touching the caterpillar it making sure we were gentle when touching the container, and having to clean the tools before every use. We did have to wait patiently for what seemed to be a long process of the caterpillars life as it turned into a beautiful butterfly. Once our caterpillar turned into a monarch butterfly we then let it go on its journey to mexico.