Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Insects Gone Wild

We have been insect crazy this summer.

It all started when we inherited a colony of Madagascar Hissing cockroaches, around 30 of them. We pulled out a few to become our pets and then we donated the rest to the CSU entomology department to be used in their zoo. While we were there, we checked out some of their amazing insects and arachnids. The coolest for me were the Goliath tarantula (aka: bird eating spider), the giant assassin bug, and the ghost mantids (particularly the young ghost mantids).

Getting up close with the mantids.

Opportunities have randomly presented themselves. We decided to watch the change of a mosquito from larva to flying insect after discovering some in pool of stagnant water. We found some other larva that we have yet to identify. It was quite fun to watch the little suckers (pun intended) grow and change.

T was gifted a butterfly net from Grandma-Lee and Papa and we have had hours of fun catching butterflies and identifying them. The kids will not let me pin them but have been willing to let me freeze and pin a few beetles we caught on one of our jaunts out with the net. The net and a couple of mesh insect carriers, to hold our finds, have gone with us camping, hiking, to the park, almost everywhere we go.

A Weidemeyer's Admiral:

We also ordered a packet of caterpillars to be placed in our butterfly home so we could watch the metamorphosis take place. Our painted ladies changed from caterpillar, to cocoon, to butterflies. Once the last butterfly hatched we released them into our neighbors flower patch.

Grasshopper mania! We have discovered our new house has a plethora of grasshoppers and the kids are having so much fun with them. Everyday they catch and release. Occasionally a hopper makes it way into the chicken run and the pandemonium of fun ensues.

We love our arthropods!!

I know, I know not an insect, but where else can I show off my daughter's 'pet' gastropod surfing?!

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