Friday, April 08, 2011
After the initial mass march of the mourning cloak caterpillars, there has been a continuing trickle of them out of the elms and into the darnedest places to pupate. On the house, yes, but also on a ficus trunk
on the fence,
in a euryops shrub,
and on a bucket.
This year's bumper crop of mourning cloaks continues to unfold; I found the pupa on the bucket rim as I was rummaging in random "stuff" in the back yard. You can see this pupa has turned dark, the wing markings are visible and I correctly assumed it would soon eclose. Within a few hours of finding the pupa I found it had emerged.
Below the butterfly is the stain of meconium on the bucket.
Here is a close view of the attachment of the pupa to the smooth surface of the bucket by means of a silk patch and a hook.