In Lesson 10 of our science curriculum (Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day), we started studying insect life cycles and life styles. On Day 1 of this lesson, we learned about how insects find mates, lay eggs, and go through changes to become adults, through complete or incomplete metamorphosis.
We also perused pages 8 and 9 out of our Zoobooks: Insects magazine from February 2014, about metamorphosis.
Then, we colored the first two pages for this lesson in our notebooking journal.
On a day out with Daddy, we found some insects (just because)!
These little beetles love this plant!
(I also had to take a shot of these beautiful flowers.)
On Day 2 of this lesson, we did some journaling in our notebook.
Then we went on another search for insect eggs!
We spotted some right outside of our door on the wood overhang!
We also found this one (which looked like a decorated barrel) ...
... and this clump of eggs.
But this we weren't sure about ...
We took all three of these and put them in our insect habitat net to observe over the next few weeks.
Then, we went back to our notebooking journal to write about what we know about insect life cycles. She was challenged to draw the life cycle of a butterfly (complete metamorphosis), a praying mantis (incomplete metamorphosis), and a dragonfly (also incomplete, but different from that of a praying mantis). For help, she used our plastic praying mantis life cycle manipulative ...
... and our Dover How to Draw Insects book by Barbara Soloff Levy.
Here she is, getting to work on her life cycles!
The finished result!
How cute is her praying mantis?!
And her dragonfly! Love it!
The next thing we learned about was insect defenses, like camouflage, trickery, mimicry, and chemical defenses. This is fascinating stuff! After our reading we checked out some photos I found on Pinterest of insects who are well camouflaged. This first insect is a lichen katydid. He'd be easy not to spot in a mass of lichens!
Here is another insect, very well camouflaged in its environment.
This is an Orange Oak Leaf Butterfly.
This is a great example of insect mimicry. The tip of the atlas moth's wing is camouflaged to resemble the head of the distinctive cobra snake. When disturbed, the atlas moth falls to the ground and writhes about to complete the illusion. Very neat!
The looper inchworm disguises itself to look like a flower by gluing tiny pieces of flowers to itself! Cute!
This Sycamore Moth is nearly completely hidden on a lichen-covered tree trunk.
This is a Malaysian Orchid Mantis.
And we also learned about the bombardier beetle in our reading. Bombardier beetles all over the world have various defensive mechanisms. Some have non-explosive, foamy excretions of chemicals, while others like the African bombardier beetle (seen here) can actually aim their explosive spray in virtually any direction like an angry lawn sprinkler. Yikes!
On Day 3 of this lesson, we went into our backyard on a search for insects who have clear defenses. The first one we found was this honeybee, who has a stinger to defend herself.
Then, we found this butterfly, who has clear colors that alarm birds that he/she may not be tasty or may even be poisonous!
We also found some other fun things on our exploration, like this abandoned snail's shell! We're saving this in our collection of nature finds!
Here is another one!
We found this gnarly banana spider, too ...
... and one long, silky line of spider's thread going far between two trees.
We even found a massive leaf!
Once we had found a few examples of insect defenses outdoors, we came back in to write about them in our notebooking journal.
We also completed the Scripture copy work on page 138 of our journal ...
... and the "Insect Match Up" on pages 141-143.
Finally, we put together our "Insect Life Cycle and Life Style Wheel" from the Appendix (A41) of our notebooking journal.
My little bug investigator!
On Day 4 of this lesson, we spent some more time outdoors looking for insects that might be hidden by camouflage. Here were two bugs that appeared as small leaves on this green plant.
Maggie drew them in her notebook.
Then, we found another insect hiding in a pine cone that was the same color as the pine cone.
Here is Maggie's depiction of it.
Next, we saw this insect on a tree, appearing like the other cracks in the trunk.
Maggie drew this one, too.
On Day 5, we put together her first insect display. I got a 12 x 12 scrapbook box from the craft store and a 12 x 12 piece of thick foam to insert inside of it. With a couple of long pins, this would work perfectly.
Our first addition to our display is this moth that we found already dead on our front porch back in the Fall. (He has been kept in a jar on our bookshelf until now.)
Except for a tear in his wing to the left, he is in great condition!
Looks good, Mags!
Next, we will identify him and label him.
Later that weekend, Mags and her Daddy found two more insects to add ...
... a luna moth ...
... and a cicada!
For our final project for Lesson 10, we completed the "Can Trap Experiment" as outlined in our text. For this experiment, we started with two soup cans that had been cleaned out and punched with holes on the underside.
Then, using some scraps of food and cheesecloth, we made a "protein bundle" (with bits of ham and cheese) and a "fruit bundle" (with peach, banana, and watermelon). These were then placed one in each can. (Our goal was to determine whether insects preferred protein-rich foods or fruit.)
Next, we dug a hole in he backyard, deep enough to fit our cans so the tops of them were at ground level.
We then used some stuff to prop up a board over the cans before covering all of that with earth, pine straw, and leaves.
The next day, we went out to investigate our cans and noticed our setup had been tampered with!
Our "protein bundle" was gone! Even though it was gone, though, there were no insects hanging out with the small remainders left in the bottom of that can.
We inspected the can and noticed punctures in the side, probably from a large canine tooth.
We decided it was most likely an opossum who was the thief!
Our "fruit bundle" was covered in insects, and interestingly, plenty of snails!
We decided that insects prefer fruit over protein-rich foods.
Here are some more bugs we saw!
Apologia science rocks!