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Customer Review

on 31 July 2008
Absolutely superb present for the kids that amazes them and provides daily interest as they watch the tiny caterpillars transform into butterflies over a few weeks.

The kit contains a colourful pop-up enclosure with a feeding pipette and a coded voucher to redeem for a couple of quid for 4 or 5 tiny caterpillars. They can't put live caterpillars in the box of course. The voucher must either be sent by post or the code used on the Insect Lore website. I went for the web option used PayPal and effortlessly received the caterpillars within 2 days. You are sent a small clear plastic jar with half a cm of some kind of fatty substance at the bottom. The caterpillars remain in the jar (it has tiny air holes) eating away at the fatty food and growing at an incredible pace into large, black hairy ones. No additional feeding is necessary whilst in the jar and the lid must remain tight until they form chrysalises and hang from the paper that is on the underside of the sealed lid. Then, the paper from which they all dangle must be carefully removed with them attached and pinned into the enclosure and left undisturbed until they hatch into butterflies. Place in some flowers from the garden and a bit of orange, banana or other fruit, drip some sugar water via the pipette and they'll be very happy indeed. Three days later, release into the outside provided the weather is warm.

The kids were fascinated by the whole process, ran downstairs in the mornings to see the progress and took delight in observing nature so closely. I totally recommend this for any kids say aged 4+. You'll be happy to see the pleasure they get from it and somewhat chuffed as a parent (or relative) to have bought something unusual and educational.

And don't worry if the caterpillars hardly move or even stay completely still for some time - that's normal. They probably need all the rest they can get - as butterflies they will cover over 3,000 miles in the 5 weeks they live!
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