Many Very Hungry Caterpillars!

I haven’t updated in a while, been quite busy. But we released our 4 butterflies as the females wanted to keep mating and starting laying far too many eggs so we quickly let them go! Hopefully she managed to lay some eggs outside too.
On my last rough count as I changed the thistle in the caterpillars boxes we had approx 150-200 eggs!! Now the first 2/3 instars of a caterpillars life are tough so we did lose a lot too. My last rough count was still over 100 though so we have many! They seem to have taken preference to the thistle over stinging nettles which suits me as thistle brings in less bugs than stinging nettles seem to. We’re lucky there is a good abundance of wild plants in our local park as every two days we have to change their thistle for freshly cut ones.

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They are so tiny and adorable at this stage! The two “stripey” looking ones have moulted, so probably past their 2nd instar already. We have lots at different stages so once they all get to stage 4 (out of 5) were taking some down to the park and hope they can form their pupas in the vast amount of stinging nettles or thistle there as we won’t have space for 100+ butterflies!! 😂
I can’t wait to have a lot to release at the same time though, kids are excited, it will look amazing & will hopefully boost the amount of butterflies our local park will get too!

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Its a lot of work as you have to painstakingly take out each leaf and carefully look for tiny caterpillars and remove them from the folds, throw away the old leaves, clean their pot and replace with fresh leaves every 2 days! Ahh…as they get bigger it is getting a bit easier to spot them 😁

We have been thinking of visiting the Wetland Centre in London, I can’t decide if I should add a 2nd adult to my pass & if I do, who as I hardly go on trips like this with my other half (we usually go whilst he works) but if we do want to go with him he’d have to pay Β£10 just to get in! 😑 in my opinion you shouldn’t have to name the 2nd adult as it limits who you can bring, perhaps a friend wants to tag along to try it out, why should it matter who the 2nd adult is? I still have to pay for the extra adult anyway!

Well I shall update next week to see what stage most of our caterpillars are at and whether we have released any….

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