ok, here it is...It opens which is a good thing. Any ideas about the holes,other than duct taping on some screening patches? Also we’ll have to do something
about the inside top so that they can hang.
Wow, in the days of Covid barriers, you could sell that for serious coin. :devil3:
Seriously, you can't tape over the holes or the caterpillars will suffocate. Depending on what size caterpillars you gather will determine the type of mesh you need. If you gather really small ones, you will need mist netting, probably available at a wildlife store. Whatever mesh you use, you could probably just tape a large piece over the groups of holes but make sure it is taped all the way around - then will wander if given a chance.
I would keep it out of the sun, otherwise it will get really hot in there and there is little air movement.
Don't worry about their ability to hang on smooth surfaces. If you watch them getting ready to pupate, they find a spot then exude a silk-like substance out of their butt that anchors them. They then hang from their butt, go into what we call a 'J' position then pupate. That can sometimes cover a day or two. If you look really closely, that silk 'anchor' is about an inch in diameter and is well attached. In our little plastic terrarium containers, they pupate on the smooth plastic lids more than anyplace else.
Like Dave says, the larger you get the caterpillars, the shorter you have to feed them (but the more they eat). We often gather them when they are barely visible (and sometimes still eggs but we try to avoid that). They go through several 'instar' stages (molting). When they're small, they don't eat much but obviously you are feeding them longer.