The highlight of this past week has to be the emergence of "my" Citrus Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio demodocus) from its chrysalis.
Basic data as follows:
5.02.2022: The tiny (5X2mm) brown caterpillar was found on a leaf of my lemon tree and brought in for rearing.
22.02.2022: By now the caterpillar had developed into its green form and had grown large.
2.03.2022: It pupated. Biodiversity Explorer gave the pupal period as 2-3 weeks so I was expecting emergence from 16.03.2022.
17.03.2022: It emerged at about 14:00. So that was 15 days after pupating. It then remained quite motionless until 16:15 when it flew a short distance into an area at the base of shrubs where it battled to find a perch on a stem. The day was chilly, overcast and breezy with the temperature at 21 degrees centigrade.

It was a magical experience; my first butterfly raised from the larval stage. I had previously raised two moths with quite a few failures. I currently have five moth pupa that over-wintered in 2021. No further development has occurred and now we are slipping slowly out of summer into autumn. I don't know what to expect but am just being patient.

My data and photos were e-mailed to the Lepidopterist Society with my reference of DC14. Of course everything was loaded as casual observations on iNaturalist.

At about 09:00 the next day I went outside and the first thing that I saw was a Citrus Swallowtail butterfly flying about. I could not help but wonder if it was not "my" butterfly that had just got going after a chilly night.

It's a common butterfly and I know others have raised many, many species from the larval stage but for me it was a wonderful experience.

Publicado el 20 de marzo de 2022 a las 03:51 PM por doug263 doug263


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