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Name: Hannah M.
Status: student
Age: 6
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: June 5, 2001

Why do some caterpillars have spikes on their backs? Also, I found some caterpillars and caterpillar eggs in my tree today. I put the branches with eggs in a jar so I can be a scientist and look at them. I put three caterpillars in a different jar with leaves and branches so I can watch them too. Can I keep the jars in my kitchen or where should I keep them? Do I need to put water in the jars or fresh leaves? Is there any thing else I need to know to take care of them?

Hannah M.
Kindergarten student
Ely, Nevada

Hi dear Hannah!

you are indeed becoming a scientist! isnt that nice? Caterpillars have spikes in their backs to defend themselves to be attacked or eaten by other insects ( or bigger animals) . It is possible to keep your caterpillars in jars with leaves, the same kind where you found them. Let also some drops of water over the leaves and at the botton of the jar. If you want to keep them for a few days you should close the jar but let some openings so they can have air to breath. Observe them for a while , i cannot assure you that the eggs will hatch beeing in a strange environnement. The caterpillars are very voracious, that means they eat a lot, i mean a lot! So put a lot of leaves. So far, so good. But you know, maybe they will die soon because a jar is not their real place! In the mean time observe well these little beeings. Are not others in the tree where you can check also? But be very careful. Do not touch them with your bare hands. They can bite you!

And...why not tell us about your findings on caterpillars? Write back to that same adress. We will be very glad to hear from our little scientist.

(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)

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