Eri update!

The tiny silkworms continue to grow. They are entering the second instar, shedding their first larval skins. And like Tammy Faye, they have

This picture shows two of the cats having just shed their skins. Between them is a caterpillar that is about to change – probably tonight. The blue-green one is probably a day or so behind. The caterpillars that have shed have much larger, paler colored faces, and the shed skins are bunched up near the midline of the leaf. Imagine a lazy husband who has unbuckled his trousers and just walked out of them, leaving them in a pile on the floor. If it’s Chris, they’re complete with socks.

You can see the old “faceplates” on the leaf; one of them is at the bottom right of the photo, the other is just northeast of the center of the picture. The heads are one of the most noticeable changes when they shed skins; because they are very inflexible, the difference between “old head” and “new head” is striking. If you look at the photos from last week, you realize that the worm has changed size a lot, while the head has stayed the same.

This shot shows a dime for scale again. They are a lot larger than they were last week. The new face plates have already darkened, and the skin has started to take on a darker color. One of the newly shed worms has started to get his munch on, at the top of the photo. They usually emerge from an instar change very hungry, because they have been unable to eat for hours, even as much as a day.

3 replies
  1. thymeformom
    thymeformom says:

    Wow!

    I’ve been following your silkworm posts and am completely fascinated by the whole process. I’m way too squeamish to raise them myself so I’m living vicariously through you.

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