Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tiny Winged Creatures ...

Or at least they will be in a few more weeks :)

Check them out, destroying a lime tree

These fantastic little creatures are Papilio aegeus, caterpillars of the Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly. We discovered them on a lime tree that's been sitting out the front for months (I sort of forgot to plant it and it got shoved into the corner behind some other pots).
The one on the right in the top photo has just begun to pupate. Apparently they take anywhere from one to six months to emerge, so you'll have to wait a bit longer for those pictures!
We remodelled Indi's butterfly enclosure to contain them, which we made from a camping mosquito net.

Notice the lack of leaves on the poor old lime tree LOL!
This butterfly house has been loads of fun for us this summer. Mostly we've just hatched cabbage white butterflies because there are so many of the hungry little buggers hanging around the cabbages!

Indi also made this little booklet about the life cycle of the butterfly

She has also added words like 'pupae' and 'proboscis' to her vocabulary :)
If you want to see a picture of these butterflies, this website here is excellent. We use it all the time to identify creepers that we find about the garden.


karisma said...

Oh they are most horrible! Right up there with snails! Those little monsters have denied me lemons for the past few years!

Kel said...

I'll put up with it for the beautiful butterflies in the garden ;)

Cords said...

Years ago I used to squash these guys with utmost contempt until I found out what they end up turning into. :)

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