Butterfly Bulletin:Hatches, caterpillars are very small

Hey Kidspace Kids,

Guess what? When we went home last night, we noticed our butterfly eggs had started to become more transparent (see-through). In fact, we could 3203 almost make out a caterpillar-like shape under the shell.

This morning, we came into two VERY teeny caterpillars!

 If the egg stage of metamorphosis is like a baby - the larval stage is like a kid - they LOVE to eat and eat so they can grow and grow. For butterflies, we call the larva caterpillars. Other larvae you might have heard of before include mealworms (the larvae of a beetle) and maggots (the larva of flies).

3204 And goodness - are these caterpillars hungry! Every time you go back to the Kidspace's Super Secret Headquarters, all you hear is munching. And munching. And more munching. We are starting to see why Spokesbug International left us with so many plants...

Last week we mentioned that butterflies are picky about which type of plants they lay their eggs on, because caterpillars can be very picky eaters, and that these favorite plants are called 'host' plants.

One of the most famous host plants is Milkweed - this is a flowering plant which is the host for maybe the most famous butterfly, the Monarch. It is also a great host plant for another butterfly we can find here in Southern California, a Queen butterfly. Interestingly, the Monarch and Queen caterpillars look very similar. Look at the picture below - do you spot how to tell them apart?

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You can learn more about Californian butterfly host plants through the California Native Plant Society, and may even want to consider growing some in your garden or window boxes, to see if you can attract a butterfly to lay its eggs! Just be sure to ask your adult first, and know that these host plants will get seriously munched!

Well, it's time to pack up and temporarily work somewhere else this week, because the chewing is echoing through SSHHH and making it tough to pay attention.

More updates to come next week! In the meantime - be sure to join us for these upcoming Butterfly Celebration Happenings :

- Caterpillar Adoption is still open in our Busy Bee Store

- Look for butterfly costumes, books, and more in our Roberts Pavilion

- There are some pretty new banners up in the Courtyard to prepare for festivities

- This month, join us for a butterfly Exploration daily at 11:45 am - this is also where you can come and release your own butterfly and hang a paper butterfly in its honor in our Wisteria Walkway.

Kristen SSHHH Special Reports