Wanderer Life Cycle – complete

I decided to interfere with nature! The lovely healthy Swan Bushes had plenty of eggs on them but I could never find a single caterpillar.

The eggs on a much spindlier bush in a different position all seemed to hatch. I didn’t think there was any way for that bush to sustain all the caterpillars on it so I removed about half, put them in a terrarium and fed them with leaves from the flourishing bushes. They thrived.

It only takes a few days for the tiny caterpillar to emerge from the egg.

The caterpillar moults five times before it is big enough to start the change into a pupa. It seems to hang for at about a day before the radical changes start. I have no idea how the shiny gold dots are formed but the chrysalis is beautiful.

The colour of the chrysalis changes and by about the ninth day the wings are clearly visible through the now transparent Chrysalis.

This one was a little sunburnt near the top.

 

It seems to me that the butterflies emerge mid morning, I think it’s possible that gives the butterfly a chance to be warmed by the sun a little before it sets off on its first flight.

Click on an image to go to the slideshow.

After the wings are fully “unpacked” the butterflies seem to spend at least half an hour opening and closing them before they make any attempts to fly.

When released outside they are in no hurry to make their first flight but when they do, unlike birds fledging, they simply take off perfectly.

All that’s left of the “Nursery Bush” after the seven caterpillars I left on it have pupated.

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Author: macmsue

I’m a sister, wife, mother, grandmother, auntie and friend. I prefer to be outside and am interested in photography, nature and different cultures. I believe everything on this earth has a right to be here but some things and some people would be happiest if their space was far away from mine. (Flies and biting bugs take note!) I don’t like housework and think dust is Nature’s way of saying, “This is my space, I was here first.”

9 thoughts on “Wanderer Life Cycle – complete”

    1. The Swallowtails I’ve seen have been Citrus Swallowtails and they’re gorgeous but they don’t seem to be around our place even though we do have citrus trees. Hope yours emerge at the perfect time for you.

  1. What an absolute delight this must have been, I’m suffering from butterfly envy right about now, though I must admit I’ve seen two or three flitting around in my garden over the last week or so – usually when I don’t have my camera in hand. Thanx for sharing this, Sue, it was delightful to read about.

      1. That’s sad, but all part of natural selection I suppose. The heat has been incredible in your part of our country – I hope you have a cool place to be and are not totally exposed to it.

    1. My grandson was here today and saw another butterfly emerge then was able to take it outside and release it. It’s the kind of thing I hope he’ll always remember.

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