Thursday, 30 August 2012


My cousin and his wife sent Faith a wonderful present for her birthday in July. They sent a pot with teeny tiny painted lady caterpillars (they were about 3mm long at first and looked like black grains of rice), and a pop up net for keeping butterflies in. The caterpillars grew really really fast to about 2 1/2 inches then made their chrysalis on the roof of the pot. I then pinned the roof of the pot to the inside of the net and we waited. It took about 2 weeks for them to emerge.
This is the butterfly just emerging from the chrysalis, we were just lucky to be nearby when it happened.
It then fell down with its wings still curled and immediately looked for something to climb up. This must be such a vunerable time in the wild.

It climbed up the wall and back to the lid where it stood for about 2 hours, unfurling and gently flapping its wings and stretching out its tongue (probiscus really but i'll just call it a tongue!). When they first come out, the tongue is in half and they have to curl and uncurl and stretch it around to bring it together. If you look hard you can see this in the picture below.

Better shot of the tongue stretching below. Also, I never realised they have such pointy noses.

We released them the day after all 5 of them had hatched/emerged/been born, not sure what the right terminology is.
Jo x

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