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<Affairs in Cuei-Ping Butterfly Garden> Activities

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◎Planning of the Cuei-ping Butterfly Garden:
     There were two batches in one semester, and each batch for three classes, rearing different kinds of butterflies.

◎Classes received the butterfly ecological education:  
     Students were taught the butterfly ecology first, including the butterfly garden environment and notices during the rearing process. After they were clear, each would get four to five larvae to put in their rearing boxes.
 

 

 

 

◎The process of students rearing larvae:
  
Students had to obtain the consent of their parents before they were distributed the larvae. Students would receive four to five tender leaves to put in their rearing boxes after wiping dry every day. During rearing, they had to clean excreta in their boxes, record growth process of the caterpillars, and at last, free those caterpillars which had already turned into butterflies in the garden.

Larvae sent from the foundation

Larvae provided by the foundation



Tender leaves sent from
the foundation


 

Students rearing larvae

Students rearing larvae

Students’ rearing boxes


Larvae climbed to the top to prepare for pupation


Larvae molted and transformed into pupae

A pharate splitted the pupal case

Emergence

Free the butterflies

Free the butterflies

Students’ rearing diaries

Students’ rearing diaries

Students’ rearing diaries

 

◎Difficulties encountered:

1. Unsuitable weather: We first reared Papilio demoleus Linnaeus in 2012 winter, when the weather and larvae condition was so poor that the failure rate was high, but we were not frustrated. Instead, we considered it a life education for all of the teachers and students to experience together.

2. Uneasily firmed pupae: In April 2013, Idea leuconoe clara were reared for the second time, and the success rate was quite high. Nevertheless, because the pupae couldn’t hang firmly on the top, they weren’t able to eclose successfully.
 

 

 

3.Human factors: Sometimes students forgot to feed leaves, causing the death of the caterpillars; students ran back and forth with their rearing boxes carried in hands to lead to death; students fed the leaves without wiping dry to cause the caterpillars to die from having the runs after eating.

4.Natural factors: Caterpillars themselves had poor condition; interference from parasitoids during pupation; unflyable wings because of unsuccessful emergence.

Unsuccessful emergence

Unsuccessful emergence

◎Pictures of butterflies in the Cuei-ping Butterfly Garden:

 

◎Reflections from the Whispering of Butterflies team:
   
Five of us all had the experience of rearing butterflies before, so we were familiar with butterflies to some degree. Actually, caterpillars were clever, because when discovering the leaves were not enough, they would transform into pupae earlier (larvae which were not big enough), which really amazed us. We were even wondering whether the larva was going to die without eating then. However, surprisingly, we saw it climbing slowly to the top of the box and stayed still afterwards, starting to molt and then turn into a pupa (caterpillars didn’t spin silk to form pupae). During the process of becoming a pupa, the larva would keep writhing, which was quite dramatic. While when the pupa changed its color, which means it was going to emerge. After emergence, the butterfly was not capable of flying at first since its wings were still wet. When its wings were dry enough, we had to rapidly set them free in the butterfly garden lest they starve. Seeing them flying lightly, we felt reluctant but also happy for them. This kind of experience of rearing butterflies was rare, interesting, and meaningful, and we could explore the mystery of life as well.