Saturday, January 5, 2013

Life Cycle of Gaudy Baron (Euthalia lubentina)

Two caterpillars were found at Jalahalli last month, Nitin and I raised one each. They feed on Loranthus. Special thanks to Ashok Sengupta sir and Girish!

The caterpillars were in their initial instars when collected from the field. Image clicked on 4th December 2012:

Later, after two weeks, they had gained mass and length. Image by Nitin:



The pupa, few days after pupation:
Ventral view
Lateral view

 The adult butterfly, after eclosion. This individual turned out to be a female.



The butterfly is wet soon as it emerges. It takes a while to dry. Here are a few close ups of the butterfly while it was still in the process of drying up! Liquid dripping from the abdomen:




The vacant pupal case:


Time taken for the metamorphosis since it was found: 32 days
It was probably around 10 days old at the time it was found, and so we can round it off to 42 days, approximate length life cycle.

Happy butterflying!



2 comments:

  1. Amaazing pics!! Appreciate the patience you have taken to rear this beautiful butterfly! Wonderful job!

    Was this home reared? Is it correct to rear butterflies at home?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you S.Raaj.
      Yes this was reared at home. There is nothing wrong in collecting a single individual from the field for the sake of studying the life cycle: as long as it is provided with the leaves of its host plant, given the right temperature and humidity conditions so as to ensure that the adult emerges healthy. Also, care needs to be taken that the emerged butterfly be released in a place which is known to have populations of its species. Otherwise, the butterfly will definitely not survive in an alien environment!

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