Even Caterpillars Are Picky Eaters

Humans Aren’t The Only Ones Muhammad Ali inspired a nation when he said, “float like a butterfly.” But, what Ali didn’t tell us was that the journey to becoming...

Humans Aren’t The Only Ones

Muhammad Ali inspired a nation when he said, “float like a butterfly.” But, what Ali didn’t tell us was that the journey to becoming a butterfly was filled with nothing but eating. Picky eating, that is.

We get a look inside one woman’s mission to make more butterflies. Margaret, also known as the Butterfly Lady of Fire Island, has turned her kitchen into a butterfly breeding haven. She watches the journey of caterpillar egg to butterfly, over and over again.

Margaret will start her process by finding eggs. She then sticks them in jars, with their host plant, and label the date harvested, the amount of eggs and the date of birth. Butterfly birthday time! One of the more interesting things we learned about caterpillars from Margaret’s endeavor is that they don’t just eat anything.

During their juvenile days, caterpillars sole mission is to eat as much as they can to sustain themselves through metamorphosis as well as get enough protein for the rest of their lives. But, just because they eat all day every day, doesn’t mean they eat anything and everything. What each one eats depends on the type of caterpillar it is. Margaret has found they won’t eat what she gives them if it’s not their style. Who knew beggars could be choosers?

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