Our homeschool group here in New Jersey - (Family Friendly School - Sarubin Family) have just finished transferring our 6 caterpillars into two self made rearing chamber habitats - we followed along Plan B notes and photos. We used tupperware containers, pill box, stick tak, red marking pen and sandpaper. We have 2 chambers with 3 caterpillars in each.
We noticed a few things -
The bio-engineered caterpillar food is a bit smelly. We were curious to know what the food was made out of - are there any real plants in there?
One group of caterpillars seemed slightly larger than the others - the larger group went into our primary rearing chamber. We going to be learning more about "instars" and the various stages.
the caterpillars in one of their containers seemed to have left behind some sheddings (not the poop/frass)
We also noticed that the caterpillars attached themselves to their shipping container with a thread of their silk and seemed to be trying to hold on to the thread as we carefully transferred them on a clean paintbrush to their new rearing chamber.
The caterpillars immediately went to the new feeding containers and started eating.
The caterpillars were exposed to light in our kitchen for about 30 minutes during the transfer but then we covered both new rearing chambers with a darkening cloth to put them back in the dark - they're in our dining room at a relatively constant temp.
Our big questions are below:
what time do we (based on our start time) move the caterpillars into the light for their 12 hour light dark daily exposure?
We transferred them at about 10:30 am Eastern Standard Time - New Jersey, USA... so when does the period of storing in darkness end for us?
Which astronaut(s) will be taking care of the MIS experiement? Which part of the space station (which chamber) will the experiment be taking place.
Is there more than one website address that we can look at for different sources of video and photos and notes about the caterpillars/butterflies experiment on the ISS (will there be a special spot on the ISS site as well as info on MonarchWatch.org?
Thanks so much for your help - go team FamilyFriendly!
Family Friendly Homeschool, NJ (Bridget Sarubin)