Monday, February 23, 2009

Silkworm Babies!

To be honest I had given up on them. I had resigned myself to them not doing anything: the grey colouration of the eggs, I'd thought, was probably due to mould rather than anything that should be happening. True, I'd noticed that a few of the eggs seemed to have developed black spots, but I really thought they were all going to be duds (heh - obviously not my favourite expression).

But just half an hour a go I happened to take a look and to my great surprise and delight I saw that some of them had hatched!

(If you click on the picture you get a bigger picture of course, and can see their brown hairy bodies and shiny black heads, and the eggs which up close have the same shape as red blood cells).

The ruler underneath is showing centimetres with millimetre intervals - so they are very tiny, about 2 mm long. They seemed to be crawling quite rapidly looking for food - though when I tried to take a movie they didn't seem to be moving at all.

Very luckily I happened to have some food left over in the fridge so I added a few gratings very close to them. They seemed to start crawling towards it immediately, and when I looked a minute os so later they had crawled on top of it and were busy munching away. Since they eat a lot I thought I'd better get some more, but my supplier has gone on holiday, and an alternative number was answered by a woman who seemed to have her hands full looking after a screaming baby, so I am going to ring back later, and hope very much they can help.

Ah, such drama - who would have thought looking after a few caterpillers could be so exciting!

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Blogger Jud said...

It has been exciting to follow your posts about these little critters.

That said, "Silkworm Babies!" sounds like it might be one of the following:
1) A new BBC kids program, in the mode of Teletubbies.
2)A play on the movie Silkwood, where the mutant irradiated Silkwood Babies crawl around the neighborhood wreaking havoc
3) A line of girl's toys. Collect all seven!

But enough of my rambling.

Are you know officially a silkworm rancher?

Mon Feb 23, 05:32:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Jud: I like 2) best!

Ahah, no I didn't know that...actually, I think you're right. 'Ranch' is the right word and I have been looking at it with some consternation. I must have hundreds of eggs. Some of them are just going to have to go in the fridge and some in the freezer. I can't cope with them all hatching out all at the same time. I'll be overrun!

Mon Feb 23, 06:23:00 pm  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

So here's the second lot of SWs. Have you worked out whether you've multiplied well from your first batch? Oh, scratch that, I see from your reply that you've answered that - you can freeze them? Wow.

Mon Feb 23, 06:42:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

That first photo has a very pleasing aesthetic quality.

Mon Feb 23, 10:24:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I hope I can, anyway, Barbara.

Yes, I think so, too Jonathan. I keep looking at it. I can actually see more in the photo than I can with the naked eye. Heh, I think the concept I'm looking at here is magnification!

Mon Feb 23, 11:02:00 pm  
Blogger Kirsty said...

It is exciting! Somebody may already have suggested this, but you might have to change your blog's name to Keeper of the Silk Worms.

Mon Feb 23, 11:52:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Since yet more hatched out this morning, Kirsty, I think you may well be right!

Tue Feb 24, 09:35:00 am  
Blogger jem said...

Am I peculiar in thinking they are quite cute. They are like little letter i's or mini hairy microphones. Well done, you must be a proud foster mum!

Wed Feb 25, 02:32:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

'mini hairy microphones'! That's it, exactly, Jem!

Wed Feb 25, 09:30:00 pm  

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