On my check today I was missing 2 caterpillars...I can't express how frustrated I was. They were 2 of the 3 large caterpillars from the first cohort that I had relegated to the smaller box. There was a small hole in the box that I think was there before, maybe they crawlled out maybe ants or a wasp got to them? You can see the hole near the bottom:
Its still surprizing that there is no trace of them, remember that the smaller cage they were in was inside of my larger screened cage set up. I placed the third one on the live host plant I have in my set-up and went on with my day. A few hours later, I came back to check on the caterpillars. That one little guy had crawled down the plant then along the grass and up the side of the cage! It had traveled roughly 3.2 m and was now hanging on the outer screen of the larger cage.
I put him back on the live plant then geared up for a new set-up for the big guys.
Aside: Earlier tests with larger cuttings have shown me that the branches can survive and even grow if kept in water and sun. Smaller ones dont do well and need to be replaced daily.
I have now taken all the large caterpillars and placed them in seperate tupperware containers with holes in the top. Each has a few sprigs that will need to be replaced daily, but at least they are safe and contained.