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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Friday, September 25, 2009

Lime Butterfly

It all started with this little lime plant which was passed to me by my mother in law. It was growing well and had started out new shoots. After few weeks, I found some grains on the tender leaf shoots and most of them had bite marks on them.

I had carefully inspected it and found that the culprit was hiding at the lower mature leaves. I don't think I want to leave it to continue chomping up the rest of the plant. I got a clear box to put this caterpillar inside and feed it with the leftover half done leaves.

About a week later, it had turned into a pupa and another few week later into a beautiful butterfly. I guess this must be the Common Lime Butterfly (Papilio Demoleus malayanus)

I had set the butterfly free just after taking pictures of the hen & the chicks, there were 10 births on the same day and you can only guess the excitement that took place during the holidays.

Just hope it doesn't come again and lay more eggs!

I visited my in laws during the holidays and found few caterpillars where chomping their existing lime plant.
I had taken these "worms" and also pruned the heavy bushy lime plant. I also noticed that the ants had burrowed on some of the pupa and had feasted on them
(pity those butterflies - they never knew that they got ambushed)
I didn't know that this plant caused so much pain as it is full with sharp spiked thorns which continuously pierced my hands while I was pruning.
First time I saw so much blood in my hands!
This lime plant is worst than roses & cactus put together!


Stephanie said...

That's one beautiful butterfly! I would be afraid to touch that little green thingie he he... Oh regarding those spiky thorns, I really do not like them. I hope your hand will recover soon. Sorry to hear that so much blood flowed out.

Autumn Belle said...

You have saved a caterpillar and raised a butterfly. Yahoo! That's great. Can you imagine how many flowers this butterfly will pollinate and all the fruits we can eat? Great!

James David said...

Stephanie - My 6-year old son was caressing the caterpillar and was excited when he felt it was soft like velvet.

Also when: There is no pain - There is no gain.
My hands got swollen with those continious piercings (its like a magnet, anytime come close to the plant and they all prick)

Autumn Belle - Never thought about that, thanks.

Now I got 2 pupa and 3 caterpillar being raised in a container for the second time.

Anonymous said...

Hi again!,
I finally read the descriptions on your blog and let me tell you, those pictures are fantastic.
I payed special attention to the plants and butterflies you photographed, the one you rised is definitely a gorgeous Papilio demoleus in a lime plant (Zanthoxylum fagara), not so common to see here, actually it's pretty difficult to find them even during summer.
About the last one you saw on the Bougainvillea --i have one at home and never seen caterpillars- I believe it's a Papilio thoas since they love sipping around these flowers.

Ok, I've written the whole Bible here but it's such a nice topic!.

I leave you this site I've built with some other students. Although I'm at college and they're still on secondary school, they keep on doing the same thing I used to do, so it became a big thing.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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