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Name: Kazi G.
Status: other
Age: 10s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2/23/2003


Question:
I am a nine year old who loves bugs. I have raised several caterpillars into butterflies and moths. In September I found a Wooly Bear Caterpillar. We have kept it and fed it for 5 months now. Is this the normal life span of this kind of caterpillar? Most caterpillars I've found change pretty soon, but not this guy. I can't find any information about how long they stay a caterpillar. If he does change into a Tiger Moth, will he be able to find food for himself, after being a pet for so long? Thank you. Kazi G., Mrs. Foster's 3rd grade class, Phonics Phactory, Portland, Oregon.


Replies:
Normally wooly bears overwinter as hibernating larvae (the wooly bear stage), resume eating for a short time in spring, and then pupate. I do not know what effect its staying warm and eating all winter might have. Should it pupate and mature to adult while in captivity, the adult would still be able to function normally if released.

J. Elliott


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