Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spalgis epius - Pupa and butterfly

For those who were waiting for this post, sincere apologies. This was long overdue. Thanks a million to Poornima Kannan who found this and let me keep it! Apefly, from pupa stage to a hatched adult. I have uploaded the pictures in high resolution so that you can observe every detail. This butterfly "Apefly" is called so because of the resemblance of the pupa to the face of an ape. I was amazed to see one for real, the camouflage is so mind-boggling. And it really does look like an ape! A meditating one, to be precise!

Day 1:


With size reference of a USB cable:


Day 5, no changes. The "meditating ape" that I talked about? Wow:


 Day 11, night before hatching:


The vacated pupa and the adult butterfly:

  


The pupa took 12 days to hatch from the day it was found. It was probably a few days old at the time.

The Apefly is a small butterfly that belongs to the Lycanidae family. An interesting thing about this species is that, in the caterpillar stage, it feeds on scale insects and mealy bugs! Yes, that means this caterpillar, ulike any other species, is a carnivorous caterpillar. The individual I have photographed is a male, judging by the pointedness of the apex. In case of the female, it is slightly but noticably more rounded. The butterfly shows a fast, erratic flight pattern and tends to keep to the bushes. Often, this species is observed basking, with it's dusky brown upper side almost invisible amongst a bunch of dry leaves or soil.

Happy butterflying!

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Herpetogooner! :D Such wonderful creatures they are, see! And all your frogs do is EAT them. :P Che!

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  2. this is awesome work,i have seen your work on facebook too,
    very nice,
    just need some info,
    i just want to know excat time of the season of birth of butterfly by its steps of birth,so i can visit places to capture its every state.

    Regards,
    Chiragchitvan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Chirag, thanks for the appreciation. There is no such thing as exact season, butterflies mate and lay eggs as and when they find larval host plants. It is essential to keep track of these plants in order to observe the different stages in its metamorphosis.

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