Butterflies in the Classroom Carolina Biological Supply Company

Carolina Biological Supply Company
Butterflies in the Classroom
Session Objectives
• To study the painted lady butterfly life cycle
• To learn setup and care
• To explore caterpillar
• To learn interesting butterfly facts
• Easy to maintain
in the classroom
NOTE: Carolina’s
painted lady butterflies
are laboratory
reared. Natural
populations are not
Let’s Look at the Life Cycle
• Complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa,
• Approximately 4 weeks from eggs to adults
Observation Activity
Observe life cycle:
look at containers on
each table.
Examine live samples
of 4 stages:
egg, larva, pupa, adult
Group Interaction and Discussion
Classroom butterfly requirements:
• Temperature—72 to 78° F
• Humidity—high for adults (mist habitat)
• Food—artificial food for larvae provided in
culture cup
NOTE: Do not place culture cup/larvae in direct
Adults require artificial
nectar or flowering plants
and water for proper
Supporting Information
Raised on live plants
or artificial diet
Culture cups sustain
caterpillars through
pupa stage
Move pupae to cage
before adult stage
on mallow
Let a Simple Learning Cycle Shape the Inquiry
A Closer Look
• How many legs do
insects have?
• How many legs do
caterpillars have?
• Are they all real legs?
A Closer Look
Use a soft brush to transfer a caterpillar from a culture
cup into a Living Wonders™ View Chamber.
Observe the caterpillar. Invert the chamber to view the
dorsal and ventral sides.
Describe the structure of the legs.
Observe the shape of the feet.
A Closer Look
Explain and Extend
• There are many misconceptions
about caterpillars.
• Many children’s books portray an
incorrect image of caterpillars.
• Discuss some of the basic
morphology of a caterpillar and
compare it to these images.
You Wear It Well
Butterfly Necklace
Cup with 1 oz of diet
Lid with ribbon attached
Small paintbrush
Small butterfly larva
Paper disk
Butterfly Necklace
• Add food to 1-oz cup (may be
prepared for you).
• Transfer larva to culture cup.
• Place 1 or 2 butterfly larvae
in small vial.
• Add paper disk and snap
lid in place.
After chrysalis forms, open lid and move paper disk
with attached chrysalis to inside of butterfly habitat.
Moving Pupae to Cage
• Remove lid from culture
• Remove tissue with
attached pupae from lid.
• Attach tissue to inside
side of cage (with tape
or pin).
Note: Discard malformed pupae.
If pupa detaches from tissue, tape
back. Place tape across abdomen.
Butterflies as a Tool to Teach Various Topics
• Symmetry: Bilateral vs radial
Example of bilateral
Example of radial
Butterflies as a Tool to Teach Various Topics
• Human impact on nature:
Peppered moth story
Interdependence of Organisms
Life cycle of Wisconsin
Fast Plants® with
cabbage white
• Plant light house/butterfly cage
• Explanation of Wisconsin Fast Plants® life
cycle (host plant)
• Tandem life cycle of cabbage white butterfly
Cabbage White Butterflies
Cabbage White Caterpillars
Feeding on Fast Plants® Leaf
Devoured Plants
Larva Food Choice: “A Salad Smorgasbord”
One Hour Later
Caterpillar Preparing to Pupate
Cabbage White Chrysalids
Butterflies on Film Can Feeder
Ovipositing Cabbage White Butterfly
Butterfly Oviposition Experiment
Let’s Learn More
• Butterfly wings are colored due to scales
Example of butterfly scales
Let’s Learn More
• Harvester butterfly larvae are carnivorous
and eat wooly aphids
• Fast? Clocked at 30 miles per hour
• Largest? Queen Victoria, 2–3 grams
. . . And a Little More
• Smallest? Pygmy Blue, a few thousandths
of a single gram
Example of Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly
And a Little More
• Some caterpillars are capable of eating
poisonous plants. These poisons are deadly
to other animals.
• Caterpillars that eat poisonous plants absorb
and detoxify compounds. These then provide
defense against predators.
Take-Home Materials
• Live butterfly necklace
• Living Wonders™ View Chamber
• Butterflies in the Classroom Instruction
• Various other printed instructional materials
Resources from Carolina
Kits discussed in workshop session:
• Butterflies in the Classroom Kits
(catalog no. 144012 and 144014)
Resources from Carolina
Kits discussed in workshop session:
• Life in Balance: Plants and Butterfly Kit
(catalog no. 158986)
Resources from Carolina
Need more butterfly kits and related
products? See page 21 of the Butterflies in
the Classroom manual.
Carolina Free Resources
Carolina offers many free resources
to help support teachers.
Evaluations: Share Your Thoughts!
Scale = 1 to 10
10 = Outstanding
9 = Above Average
8, 7 = Average
6, 5, 4 = Below Average
3, 2, 1 = Well Below Average
Please provide comments!
Carolina Biological Supply Company
Thank you for investing your time in
our training program.
For all of your classroom needs,
check out our Web site,
Enjoy the rest of the conference!