Good Morning, students! I'm sending you another beautiful view of the wetlands. It really is beautiful here, and so different than Minnesota. I am learning a lot, and I hope you are learning many things while I'm gone, too.
This morning was spent working in the caterpillar zoo. Really it's a laboratory where we clean out the caterpillar bags and give them more fresh food to eat. Most importantly, we are writing down any changes we see and looking for parasitoids. What do you think a parasitoid is? I'll try to show you some in a day or two.
One way to get caterpillars out of trees or bushes is to use a "beat sheet" and a stick. Can you guess how it works?
In the afternoon, we went back into the wetlands for more caterpillars. We've been lucky, because it hasn't been too hot. (You know I don't like to be hot, especially when I have wear long sleeves and pants.) When we find a caterpillar, we put them in a baggie with air and their "host" plant. (A host plant is the one that they are eating and living on.) On the baggie we write the date, their common and scientific name, the name of the host plant and where they were found.
The bunch of caterpillars you see on the tree above are moving back and forth because they aren't happy. The carpenter ants on the tree are predators and will try to kill them. Do you see them? The dark, black caterpillars in the top picture will become Buck Moths. They are dangerous and can sting. How do you think they sting people?
Well, that's all for today kids. Tomorrow, I'll be going into the wetlands on a kayak. Do you know what that is? Well, I'll send you some more pictures soon. Take care! I think of you all every day. Mrs. Armstrong