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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Photo Dump: Papilio zelicaon Edition

Anise swallowtail story, that took place in August 2011, ends in oddness.

A fat mature caterpillar in mid-August contemplates the choice between continuing to eat the fennel and pupation.  Eating wins out for a few more days . . . ha! notice the green stink bug on the right of this photo, recently molted!  Anyway,

eventually pupation is inevitable and the caterpillar assumes the position, spins a silk pad at the rear end and a silk safety line around the middle and waits.

Next day: the fresh pupa full of butterfly-flavored hope.

Three days later, the pupa has been split at the top (head area).
There was some brownish stuff inside.  Predation?  Parasitoid?  Mechanical accident?

The damaged pupa hung there and dried; its silk line broken.

one day I caught this bug, Creontiades rubrinervis, lurking around.  It even went inside the empty shell, seeking what?

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