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Old 10-03-2011, 05:54 PM   #11
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I had been checking the tomato cage tower almost every day to see if anything was going on with the parasitized swallowtail pupae, but nothing seemed to be happening. Well, Saturday I had some errands to run and when I came home, I checked them again. EVERY SINGLE CHRYSALIS had holes in them where wasps must have emerged!! I had the tulle material pulled back, so the wasps weren't trapped inside, but could get out and fly away. I am glad they were gone by the time I got home!

I wasn't happy with what happened to my swallowtails, but I know the wasps are also an important part of our ecosystem, so I am glad I didn't euthanize them!
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:09 PM   #12
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Bridget, I spent six years in California putting together a science docent program at my kids' elementary school after they lost their paid science teachers. We put lessons together, and did experiments with the kids every other week for grades 2 - 5. I am particularly fond of critters of all kinds, and would set up terrariums/aquariums in the classrooms for the kids to watch things change as they developed.

I discovered you can order many kinds of caterpillars on line (Bill Oehlke's silk moth site was a favorite source), and the kids got to see lunas, cecropias, cynthias, prometheas, tobacco hornworms, as well as monarchs and painted ladies.

The purchased caterpillars and chrysalids never had wasps in them, but when I found ones in nature, I would bring them in for the kids to observe, and several times had wasps emerge rather than butterflies or moths. It has been too long to remember which ones, and I wasn't into wasps then, so I didn't bother to identify them other than to discuss parasitic wasps as a concept with the kids.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #13
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Turttle,
What a cool mom you are! I can imagine how excited the students would get when you came to their rooms. I am sure many of those kids will long remember the critters you brought into their rooms.
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braconid, braconid wasps, butterfly, caterpillars, chrysalids, insects, larvae, massacre, parasite, parasitic wasps, parasitize, swallowtails, wasps

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