Tag Archives: butterflies

Common Crow butterfly chrysalis

9 Mar

Recently I found a Common Crow (Euploea core) caterpillar.

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Euploea core caterpillar

I decided to track the progress of the amazing chrysalis they make. A beautiful, golden metallic colour, that looks more like a piece of jewelry than anything else.

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Euploea core chrysalis

Progess above from Day 1 to about Day 9.

And finally, a beautiful Common Crow butterfly emerges.

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The Emergence!

15 Oct

Today got off to an amazing start. I went to check on the chrysalis as usual and noticed this…

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Can you see the wings??
And I read that once you can see the wings through the chrysalis, the emerging happens quickly. So, of course I was stalking it as I was trying to get two kids ready for school and get a baby dressed.  And wouldn’t you know it, I missed the actual unveiling!

I’ve watched this thing go from caterpillar to chrysalis and patiently checked on it multiple times a day just to be able to see it happen. But nature has a clock of her own and you’ve got to be diligent (and quick) to keep up.

And, as the website(s) had warned, I went back in to find a perfect butterfly resting on the empty chrysalis. 

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And, although I cursed myself for taking too long making toast this morning, I was truly happy to see it there.

I took it outside, after I saw some wing movement, and placed it in the Mock Orange bush where it continued to dry its wings and eventually flew away and onto the rest of its life.

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Here’s a picture of the evolution from caterpillar to butterfly.

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Common Crow caterpillar and chrysalis

13 Oct

My mother-in-law’s yard had the most insect activity I had seen since leaving Byfield.  One thing I saw quite regularly, on a few different plants, was the Common Crow caterpillar. I was actually lucky enough to be there long enough to see one form its chrysalis.  (Butterflies form a chrysilas,  moths form a cocoon.)

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Common Crow caterpillar

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Day 1 of chrysalis

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Day 2 of chrysalis

My mother-in-law hadn’t seen these since her childhood in Julia Creek when they were on the Oleander bushes on her family’s property.  And the best part? My awesome mum-in-law let me chop off the branch the chrysalis was on so I could bring it home. I’m still waiting on the butterfly’s arrival but am having lots of fun watching it.

               More to come!

Butterflies and colour attraction

12 Jun

One day on my normal insect-finding walks, I noticed a butterfly around the pool that kept landing on the yellow swim noodle over and over.  There were many other coloured noodles there but it definitely was attracted to the yellow one.  First, it landed so often I was able to get a good photo of it.

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That’s the butterfly sitting on top of the swim noodle.

Next, I decided to try to see if I could get it to land on me or near me for a better shot by using the colour yellow.  I ran and got a yellow sweatshirt and although I was successful in getting it to land on the arm of it, when I would bring the camera up for hopefully a great close-up, the lens scared it away.

So, what does an over-enthusiastic wannabe do then? Get a banana.

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And of course from this I realized that butterflies actually seemed to be attracted to a certain colour.  So, I got on the internet to find out why.

I learned that although butterflies have only average eyesight, unlike most other insects, they do see colour including colours in the ultraviolet spectrum.  There are markings on certain flowers that are ultraviolet, therefore invisible to the human eyes, but can be seen by the butterfly.  Butterflies are also aware of when the nectar of a certain plant may no longer be in production by the change of colour say, from yellow to red.

So, how do you attract butterflies to your home? (That is, if you’re short on bananas.)

1. Grow plants that attract them.  Plants with brightly coloured flowers, like red, orange, yellow, pink and purple work best.

2. Use native plants.  There isn’t a high success rate for the offspring when eggs are laid on non-native plants.

3. Find out what butterflies are in your area and make them a priority.

4. Use a butterfly-attracting bait. (see below)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound sugar 1 or 2 cans stale beer

3 mashed overripe banana

1 cup of molasses or syrup

1 cup of fruit  juice

Mix all ingredients well and paint on trees, fence posts, rocks, or stumps–or  simply soak a sponge in the mixture and hang from a tree-limb.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/butterfly-bait-how-to-formula.html#ixzz2W0DLqjxu