I guess this is going to be a norm in my garden story:
For the record, this is the 3rd butterfly in captivity.
(2 more pupa to go & one caterpillar)
Born on last Tuesday - 6th October.
This one was already to go.
More like "Open me up! Open Me Up!! I want to FLY!!!"
After opening the box, she landed on the ground, gently flap her wings, like ready to take off and then flutter gracefully. This one was fast, no hiccup, no wet wings or delayed flights.
My 6th year old son was watching the whole episode with laughter and excitement.
And he bid farewell by naming her and saying,
Yesterday: 8th October night.
Status: 2 pupa & 1 caterpillar.
I hope you can notice something,
I put the flash on so you can view the difference.
Can you see it?
The pupa had changed its colour.
The normal one is green but this one is black.
I guess that is the sign which means the butterfly is going to pop out its cocoon by tomorrow morning.
Notice the difference?
This one had not yet ready to turn into a butterfly. (still green)
True enough, the butterfly had came out this morning, I had prepared my camera ready with the rechargeable batteries charged last night. I managed to take these few pic.
The butterfly seemed to be too active and fluttering very aggressively.
I didn't want to exhaust it and also noticed that the rain clouds had gathered and it did rain after half hour after the release.
Hope this butterfly knows where to take shelter...
Am I kidding, I'm sure nature will have prepared these creatures with their survival instincts.
Look at the beautiful patterns of these wings.. So admirable
Off you go. Freedom to Fly carelessly to Life's Joy!!
Ok, I have decided to reveal my secrets in getting these caterpillars into butterfly.
Well, not so much of a great secret -
just some tips and tricks which I found out in these moment in raising caterpillars.
1) Feeding leaves instead of letting them help themselves.
I started with a caterpillar, I don't think I may able to notice their eggs.
But if you do, you can nip the leave and keep them separately.
I think its good to feed the caterpillar by taking clean cuttings from the plant instead of letting the caterpillar chomping away the plant.
Its disheartening to see the half eat leaves everywhere.
So, my suggestion, feed the caterpillar by whole leaves instead of leaving them on the main plant.
2) Careful with moisture - especially glass bottles.
I had raised few before and they died without even turning into a pupa. I was very puzzled about it and later found out that they cannot manage water intake in their sensitive skin membrane.
So, do not let water or moisture from the leaves to stay in the caterpillar (box or container)
Once I was watering my plants and I accidentally sprayed water on the container and it got wet.
Sadly, that caterpillar didn't survive.
3) Clean the droppings.
This will keep the air clean and take away whatever water droplets or residue from the eating.
I use them as fertiliser for my plants. Don't think they are too few to notice, the leaves are stripped clean and appear to be in grains.
Make sure there is enough air to go through - too tight may suffocate the caterpillar.
4) Dormant stage
If you find that the caterpillar crawl up & just stay dormant, remember that its turning into a pupa. Normally it takes a day or two. You will notice that it would not eat the leaves that been fed to it.
5) Pupa stage.
There will be 2 strings attached to it, actually its silk.
The silk is very important for the balance, if you rip-off the pupa from the hanging silk, the butterfly is going to suffer and may take awhile to dry it wings or survive.
Occasionally the pupa will throb,
wriggle and move in few seconds.
Watch out for ants,
they may burrow into the helpless pupa and kill it.
(so don't leave it uncared for even though its a pupa stage)
Check the colour each day,
the moment it turns its colour,
it means its going to turn into a butterfly in the next morning.
Well, What are you waiting for, Get your camera ready.
Safety factors: (Very Important)
I noticed that these Lime Butterflies caterpillar have a "horn like" spear that only appear when threatened. I guess that must be its defense mechanism.
Some Caterpillars are Poisonous.
So don't take for granted that all caterpillars are cute & cuddly.
Especially when placed in the hands of children.