Collect a few of the worms and put them in a glass jar with a piece of cabbage leaf. Examine them carefully and watch them crawl. How many legs do they have? Where are they placed on the body? How can they use so many legs while crawling? How many joints are there to the body? Note the short fine hair all over the body which gives it the appearance of green velvet. What color is the head? How does the caterpillar feed? Write a brief description of the worm. Do not mistake it for the cabbage span-worm which is also green, but which walks by humping up its back.
Cabbage miller on red clover blossom.
Keep the cabbage worms in the jar for a few days and watch them disappear. After they have disappeared, what is left in the jar? These are the chrysalids or pupae of the insect and later from them will come the millers. Take one of the pupae in your hand and see if it can move. If it is in the summer the miller will appear in a week, but if it is in the late fall it will simply pass the winter in the pupa stage. Watch the miller escape from the pupal case and describe it. Examine the miller carefully and describe briefly the number of legs, wings, segments of body, sucking tube and color markings. Make careful drawings of the caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. What gives the color to the wings? Rub the wings between your fingers and see if the color comes off. The wings are covered with very small scales of different colors which combine to give the beautiful markings. The wings of all butterflies and moths are covered with scales and hairs in this way. In this insect we find both chewing and sucking mouth parts. The caterpillar chews while the parent butterfly has a long tube for sucking up nectar from flowers and water from puddles in the road.
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