I have 3 rue plants in a tank with cardboard on the bottom that have fed 6 + caterpillars..
a couple keep falling off...
I put them back on the plants, but awhile later, back at the bottom..
I can provide more rue from the garden...
When are they ready for chrysalis??
The caterpillars eat for a couple of weeks. When they are ready to form the chrysalis they usual wander away from the host plant (Rue). Maybe that's what your caterpillars were doing.
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