August 06, 2007

Homeschooling at its best!!!

I won't take credit for finding it, but we found the largest and strangest catterpillar I have ever seen in my life!!!! It was 4 inches long and really fat and was found in a Walnut tree at Grandma's. The girls were delighted and I have to say that I was fascinated!
We put it in Lara's bug catcher and kept it for a few days.
(you would not BELIEVE the size of its poop!!!!)

Anyway my curiosity was just overwhelming so I decided to make it my mission to find out exactly what it was.

I found a FABULOUS website called BUG GUIDE. You can look up absolutely any bug in North America and find out all about it. I signed up and posted our picture with the title 'what is this?' and in 24 hours I had a detailed answer.

Click HERE to go to the page.

This is the picture that I took.

It turns out this Caterpillar turns into the most beautiful MOTH!!!
It is called a Cecropia Moth or Robin Moth. It has a wingspan of 10-15 cm!!! How amazing!

Adam released it back to the Walnut tree. I wish we had thought of building it a box and keeping it over the winter as it spun a cocoon. What an amazing homeschooling opportunity!!
Hopefully we will see the coccoon in the tree. Next time we will have to make sure we keep it.


ValleyGirl said...

What a huge caterpillar!! And what a beautiful moth it will make!! Those kinds of discoveries are why I love living in the country.

Nancy said...

Great detective work and great picture!Just a little note of caution - this may be the same kind of caterpillar that our kids used to call "August death-worms" - because the ones that we came across at the cottage delivered a nasty sting. May not be the same one, but just in case. . .

Carey said...

How awesome. We had the experience last summer of watching a caterpillar turn into a cocoon, but it had died soon afterwards.
That sure would be a pretty moth to see.

Diane said...

Beautiful indeed!

The Small Scribbler said...

This is beautiful! Thanks for the bug link. One of my children is obsessed with bugs and will be thrilled to be able to get more information.