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.

The Tawny Coster Pupa On 15th Mar 2016 (10:31 AM)

About half an hour later (still on the same day 15th March), there was a noticeable change to the caterpillar - it has loss all its 'spikes' and appears to have shrunk.

After much wiggling and what looks like some pushing from the inside, out came what looks like would-be wings at the bottom.

It then became motionless.

What surprised me is that it didn't shed its old skin. I had previously assumed that it does.

The Tawny Coster Pupa On 16th Mar 2016 (12:03 PM)

This is how it looked like the day after (do click on this picture to enlarge).

Looks a bit like one of the members of the Power Ranges to me, don't you think.


And this is how it looked like this morning, 22nd March 2016. What surprised me was that it moved - not much but still it moved.

In a day or two, I think I am going to get a newborn butterfly.

Update 29th March 2016
There was no newbord butterfly. I think some parasite got to it; eaten from the inside out.


  1. You did a great job keeping track on the changing of the caterpillar into pupa. Very interesting. I prefer the pupa than the caterpillar. Looking forward to see the real beauty!

    1. Thank you. If you are squeamish about the caterpillar you might want to avoid planting Damiana.


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