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Caterpillar help

  1. Jun 2, 2008 #1

    ~christina~

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    I found a caterpillar the other day when I went to the zoo. (outside the zoo exit while waiting for a ticket)
    It was black in color and had red spots on it's back and really sharp spikes.
    It was on the concrete and I assumed it fell from the tree that was behind a fence and draping over the whole sidewalk. I used a leaf to get it into a small candy box I just had on me. I found it was a mourning cloak caterpillar when I got home.
    Well the problem started after I brought it home. It was already large and then I thought it was about time for it to pupitate/pupatate but fed it some veggies anyway.
    It then proceded to spin a web of silk on the wall of the container I placed it in.
    It's middle sucker leg became attatched to the web and it just hung there.
    There it remained untill right now this evening. I actually thought it had died but when I poked it lightly it decided to shake a bit on it's backside. (it was in the shape of a C hanging on the wall) I looked up something on the internet about their behaviour, it was found that they do remain in that position untill they molt their last skin and form their chrysalis.

    Problem started after it decided to shed it's skin. Well this is one clumsy caterpillar and when it was wiggling it's leg broke off, yes it's old skin leg broke off and it fell onto the bottom of the container. (a 5 mm fall) And it can't get out of it's skin. They would, I assume usually by their attatched backside (not middle legs like this caterpillar) wiggle out of their old skin. This one just fell down with 2 missing legs but not much of an opening where those legs fell off. :frown:

    :confused: Not sure what to do now...do I wait to see what happens?
    It's spines have become wiggly and fell of though when it was rolled over by me and a tootpick, but other than that nothing is happening and I think it's exausted. How would it get out of it's skin??

    Has anyone ever raised a caterpillar with this issue?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2008 #2

    ~christina~

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    Mr.Caterpillar decided to try and kill himself yesterday, by rolling onto one of it's spines.
    It was quite scary, as the caterpillar blood/juice etc, was dark dark almost black green colored. I of course assumed it was dead, but when I used a toothpick to poke it a bit, it decided to MOVE! Other than that, it doesn't do anything at all and just lays there.

    I guess I'll just watch it. :uhh:
     
  4. Jun 3, 2008 #3

    lisab

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    :eek:

    LOL!
     
  5. Jun 3, 2008 #4

    Mech_Engineer

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    Sounds like natural selection to me.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2008 #5
    I'm sure that there is a bird in your neighborhood that would just love it.:wink:
     
  7. Jun 3, 2008 #6

    ~christina~

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    :rofl: I thought the exact same thing.

    Update: caterpillar appears dead (rigor mortis like look) but alas! it is ALIVE! 1 whole day after stabbing itself with it's spine. I poked it's head with a tootpick and it's behind wiggled!
    Not sure, but the fact that it is stiff may mean that it's forming a chrysalis, but the confusing thing is that the caterpillar has not shed it's skin :confused:
    I am afraid that it is infected :frown: where it poked itself. (has gotten fatter at that part not to mention it is also white there too.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  8. Jun 3, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    Maybe if its captor would stop tormenting it with a big wooden stick, it would quit trying to attempt suicide. :uhh: I vote just leave it alone...you're either going to have a dead caterpillar or a live moth/butterfly eventually, and I'm pretty sure poking it with toothpicks isn't going to induce the latter any more than leaving it alone will.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2008 #8

    ~christina~

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    Are you suggesting I just smell it to see if it's dead?? (the whole purpose of the gentle nudge with the stick :rofl:)

    I am leaving it alone though. If it starts smelling..I'll have to toss it.
     
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