Step 6: Baby Caterpillars

Picture of Baby Caterpillars
The newly hatched baby caterpillars are very fragile. Do not touch them! Their primary interests are eating and pooping. They eat fresh milkweed leaves and will travel the short distance from the small, dried piece onto the fresh leaf. If you do not have them on a fresh leaf, they will travel around hunting for fresh milkweed and you will lose them.

Caterpillars move around. Sometimes they are happy on top of the leaf, sometimes they prefer the bottom side. Occasionally they leave the leaf. In any case, it is important to keep track of how many caterpillars are in your care. When it is time to transfer them to a new leaf (see next paragraph), carefully pick up the leaf and make sure all are accounted for.

As the fresh leaf dries, it is necessary to transfer to baby caterpillars to fresh leaves. When you are ready to do this, locate each caterpillar and carefully cut around each. Transfer the small pieces onto a fresh leaf. The caterpillars will not linger on the dried piece and will seek out fresh food. This is the same technique described in the Hatching step.
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dannelle5 years ago
why can't we touch them their soo cute but if it kills them I'd rather not hehe...
typo31505 years ago
Keep the leaves on a stem, in a vase. That way leaves won't wilt. Caterpillars know how to hang on to the plant, as they do this in nature.
isaberg6 years ago
Because they're really so incredibly very small. There would be no way to pick them up that wouldn't squash them flat.
maryjolene6 years ago
can we touch them when they are small?whyy?