Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life cycle of Peacock Royal (Tajuria cippus)

This individual was found on Loranthus at Jalahalli on 2nd December 2012. It was in its last instar. One of the most queer-looking caterpillars I've seen till date. Looks like bird droppings on a leaf. Could also camouflage itself on a stone or on the bark of any tree. I thank Ashok Sengupta sir for finding this beauty despite how well-hidden it was!

It pupated on 6th December 2012, at 8pm. Even though I missed watching the pupation, I could get a shot at the freshly pupated stage. At this point of time the colours are generally lighter/ paler:

The next day morning, after the pupa had hardened and the colours were darker. On December 10th, the wing patterns and veins became slightly noticable on the lateral side of the pupa:

Dorsal view of the pupa on December 10th:

On December 17th, 8:50am.

On 18th, sometime during the afternoon, the butterfly emerged:

This individual is a male. Flight pattern is fast and jerky, this beautiful brilliant blue is meant to deceive the predator. The predator looks for a blue butterfly where as the underside is white and it can easily hide away!