Monday, May 10, 2010
As we all know, butterflies don't come from eggs. Unlike other insects that have semi or incomplete metamorphosis, butterflies have distinct phases of metamorphosis: Egg, larva, pupa and the adult.
Butterflies don't lay eggs on any available plant. Each species of butterfly has a particular host plant on which it lays its eggs. For example, the butterfly species 'Common Baron' lays it's eggs on Magnifera indica i.e., the common mango tree, 'Plain Tiger' lays it's eggs on Calotropis plant and so on.
Most butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. The eggs hatch, and the larvae grow to become caterpillars. The caterpillars, when done with eating, pupate. The pupa hatches and there we find a new adult butterfly.
There are certain peculiar cases of chrysalis, such as the Red pierrot butterfly, which lays its eggs in between the two layers of the thick leaves of Kalanchoe plant. The larvae hatch inside, consume the leaf from inside and then come out of the layers to pupate. Later, the butterfly hatches from the pupa.
Recently, I found caterpillars of 'Blue Tiger' butterfly on the plant Wattakaka volubilis. I have observed and photographed each stage in detail