Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Metamorphosis: Caterpillar To Pupa

At The Right Place And Right Time

This was totally unanticipated. Last week, I was lucky enough to witness a caterpillar morphing into a pupa. It was only by chance that I saw this happening. Lucky me for being at the right place and the right time when this happened.

I have been keeping tabs on this particular caterpillar for a couple of days prior. In fact, just an hour or so earlier, it still looked very much like a caterpillar. And all of a sudden about 30 minutes later, it began changing into something different - a pupa.

Here is my account of what transpired.

The Tawny Coster Caterpillar On 14th Mar 2016

This is how the caterpillar looked like a day earlier 14th March 2016. Except for the white patches on the sides, it looked very much like any other Tawny Coster caterpillar during its earlier stages after hatching.

The Tawny Coster Caterpillar On 15th Mar 2016 (9:37 AM)

This photo was taken at 9:37 A.M. on 15th March 2016. Still looking very much like how it was the day before, except that the white patches have grown larger.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A Mature Tawny Coster

A Matured Tawny Coster Butterfly (click to enlarge) The picture on the left was taken in the morning 2 days ago (do click to enlarge). It is a Tawny Coster butterfly. Over the last couple of days I have noticed the presence of this butterfly in my front garden. Its point of interest: my Damiana plants (it appears to be in egg laying mode). To my knowledge, its caterpillars only feed on the Damiana leaves.

This picture was taken while, as it appears to me, to be resting on a dead branch under the strong mid-morning sun. A little unusual as butterflies will only do this in the cool early mornings. It did fly away when approached but it settled down after awhile probably because it was tired after laying eggs. I think the underside of its wings looks a little worn. As a mature female butterfly, it is probably close to the end of its life-cycle.

I wonder if this is the same butterfly as the one that I observed in February 2016? I am no butterfly expert so it is hard to tell. Do they have distinguish markings or features from each other as us humans do? I wonder.

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