Cut diet into cubes
- Four cups per student have been provided in your kit (plus extras for the honeypots).
- Cut the bag of diet open and chop the diet into cubes the size of dice. The shape of the diet does not matter. Place 1 cube into each rearing cup.
Transfer neonates into rearing cups
- Open the egg/neonate container and use the paintbrush provided to gently transfer a neonate into a cup. Do this by carefully picking up a neonate on the tip of the paintbrush then place the larva onto the diet in the cup (careful not to injure the larva). You may need more paintbrushes depending on the number of students and the time you have.
- If you have a number of students transferring neonates at the same time, you may want to shake some neonates onto several squares of paper towel so everyone isn’t crowded around the one container.
- If desired, several neonates can be placed into each cup (they will most likely eat each other and one survivor will remain).
- Be aware that the neonates can crawl out of the container very quickly so close the lid between each transfer if necessary and only place a small number on each square of paper towel.
- Once the neonates have been transferred onto the diet, place a lid on top.
- When all cups have at least one larva, puncture several holes in the lids of the rearing pots using a thumb tack or needle. This ensures the larvae have oxygen to breathe.
- Place cups with neonates in a tray or egg carton so they can easily be moved around.
- Store the caterpillars away from direct sunlight in the classroom. Keep them in a part of the classroom that has a relatively stable temperature throughout the day and night (i.e. not in front of a heater or air conditioner).
- They should have enough diet in each cup to rear them through to pupae.
- They can be left in the classroom over the weekend without supervision.
- Monitor their growth as they progress through each larval instar.