Observation Series
Lime Butterfly and Its Caterpillars (Part 2)

This Part 2 was a continuation of the previous encounter (Part 1) on the observed life cycle of the Lime Butterfly. To be exact, this was about the second Lime Butterfly that was born at the narrow green belt of my balcony.

On 2 October 2010, while I was doing my routine weekend maintenance of my potted plants, I saw something that looked like a dead leaf under one the Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) plant. When my hand touched it, I realised it was not a dead leaf but a pupa from either a butterfly or moth. I was full of joy with this discovery. It was another opportunity for me to witness another birth. It never occurred to me that this pupa belongs to a Lime Butterfly because the colour of the pupa was different from that of the first butterfly. Furthermore, it was found on a Daisy plant and not on the usual Herb-of-grace (Ruta graveolens) plant.
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The final moment arrived in the morning of 12 October 2010. The whole breakthrough episode was over in just 1 minute. I was ready this time round (at the right place and the right time).
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After taking the last photo 6:53 am, I left for work. If this day was a weekend, I would have taken more photos.

photoThe birth of this second Lime Butterfly had left a few unanswered questions about its origin. Was it from one of the caterpillars that I saw on the Herb-of-grace plant? However, the Herb-of-grace plant was about 4.5 metres away from the pot of daisy. It was considered a very long distance for a caterpillar. If it was not one of the caterpillars, what was it feeding on all this while? The leaves of the daisy were intact all the time with no indication that something was feeding on it.

Also, why was the pupa light brown in colour while the last one I saw on the Herb-of-grace plant was light green? I guess the origin of this pupa would remain a mystery.

This was the first time that I had witness the hatching from a pupa. I had missed it the last time. Based on the experience from the two births, I was now able to know approximately when a pupa was going to hatch and also the timing of the day. As of this writing, there was one more caterpillar on my Herb-of-grace plant.

Last updated: 16 October 2010

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