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  1. Wow, wonderful story, Danielle! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  2. I love receiving your emails and tweets. I just wanted to share an amazing science/nature study with you that took 11 months (sort of).

    Last August we found a Dagger Moth Caterpillar. We created a habitat for it, and the first night it built a cocoon.
    After looking it up online, we found that this caterpillar can stay in that cocoon for up to 9 months.
    So we waited. And waited. And waited.

    Well, it has been 11 months and nothing has hatched. So we extended our little experiment now into a dissection.
    I never expected we would find what we did.

    When I opened the habitat, I noticed a small hole in the top of the cocoon, so I thought – wow – it must have crawled out without us noticing and escaped the habitat. Wishful thinking. Once I got the whole cocoon open, the chrysalis was still inside and intact. But there was also a dried up, shriveled wasp or hornet body beside it.

    Next step – carefully open the chrysalis, which was difficult because it was very dry and brittle. What was inside? A dried up wasp / hornet.

    So our conclusion – at some point during the caterpillar’s metamorphosis, a wasp/hornet crawled into the cocoon and laid an egg in there while the caterpillar was changing into a chrysalis – there was no holes so this is the only conclusions we come to. After the wasp/hornet egg hatched, it ate the poor caterpillar, but then became stuck in that tough skin of a chrysalis.

    The girls and I were so fascinated to see each step of this dissection, and with what we found at each step.
    The wonders of Nature !

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