Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about MacaKit, for other questions you can contact us by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The caterpillars have arrived, what should I do?
Relax ... for a few days no operation will be necessary. Read the instructions carefully (inside the MacaKit or click here ) and choose a suitable place to place the petri dish containing the small caterpillars (fairly stable temperature, between 20 and 30 ° C, natural light not direct, away from drafts air).
There is condensation inside the capsule ...
Initially, the formation of condensation inside the petri dish will be normal: it is due to the temperature difference between the inside and the outside of the same, and usually once these are balanced it will no longer appear. If real drops have formed, it will be advisable to open the capsule and gently dry the inner face with clean paper. In the event that the formation of condensation should repeat itself for several days, the capsule must be moved to a place with a more stable temperature or away from cold air currents.
Could the feed have made mold?
It is quite unlikely. Given the sterility of the feed and capsule, if everything is handled correctly, mold will not form. If you notice a slight white patina on the food or on the capsule walls, it will most likely be silk. This is self-produced by the caterpillars and is spread over the surfaces to improve the "grip" and walkability of the various supports. Silk does not need to be removed.
How long does it take to transfer the caterpillars inside the dome?
Let's say immediately that the timing in this phase is not essential ... In the instructions you will find written to transfer them after about 7 days from arrival or when they will have a length of about 2cm. These are only indicative values, the variability on the growth speed of the caterpillars is very high because it depends on many factors, therefore giving a precise indication is almost impossible. Below is an image of a caterpillar with the typical 5th stage coloring that can be transferred to the dome.
When should I add the feed to the dome?
The feed must be prepared and placed in the dome when it is decided to transfer the caterpillars into it. It is advisable not to overdo the dose (initially they do not eat much) rather it can be added if necessary. It is advisable to add fresh food after about 3 days, removing the residues of the old one. Also in this case, timing is not essential (the duration of the feed and the hunger of the caterpillars depends on many factors), the important thing is that the caterpillars always have moist and not excessively old food available. Be careful not to waste all the feed immediately, it will have to be enough until they are fully developed ...
The caterpillar is immobile and is "shedding its skin" ...
All normal! It is in the moult phase. He is changing the "dress" that has become too tight, with a bigger one, suitable to make him grow even more. The caterpillars in moulting are absolutely not disturbed or transferred because in this phase they are extremely delicate. Look at the insights ...
The caterpillar is motionless, has shrunk and is attached to the support only with its head and "tail" ...
No problem! He is about to make the last, most complicated moult, the one that will transform him into a pupa . If you pay attention you will notice that using the self-produced silk it is fixed to the support with a "belt". Again i caterpillars should not be disturbed at all. In the event that, moving, it detaches from the support it will be better to leave it as it is: often trying to help it causes further complications.
When should I remove the feces from the bottom of the dome?
It is possible to take advantage of the "feed change" to also remove the feces. It is not an obligatory operation (when the feces dry up they do not become dangerous for the health of the caterpillars) but it makes the dome less "fragrant" and improves its microclimate ...
Help! The caterpillar has orange horns that I had never noticed!
Do not worry ... they are its osmeters , defense organs that everted in case of danger or to drive away the other caterpillars. You will notice that these give off a pungent smell, like from fennel. To find out more, look at the insights ...