Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Plain Tiger Butterfly Eclosion

The caterpillar had made a chrysalis on the morning of 6th November, which I posted in the previous entry.  
[Click on the pictures to take a magnified view]

On 13th morning, I was in for a big surprise.  Surprise, only because I could not properly identify the caterpillar from its pattern and also had got misled by the swarm of Blue Tigers.  That had led me to think only of Blue Tigers!  Again, I was sipping my coffee near the pond.  The same chrysalis which was green the previous evening was now this: 

A dramatic metamorphosis overnight!  All the while I had thought it was of a Blue Tiger.

When such a drastic change had taken overnight, I knew it would emerge sooner than later.  Four caterpillars had pupated last week.  And all four had turned brown now.  Leaving the coffee on the bench, I rushed in to bring the camera.  In just two minutes........ this!

One fellow had already emerged in such quick time!!  It was in fact, the Plain Tiger and not the Blue Tiger.  I was ready for the next one which appeared to emerge any moment. I had quickly set up the tripod on the stone bench and it could be photographed in 'macro' at a height of about 9 inches.  I was still sipping coffee while watching the chrysalis closely for any movement inside.  

I was ready for live action!  I clicked pictures every few seconds as action happened and in just ten minutes it had almost opened up its wings and was ready to start flying. The first one could not grip the wall and had fallen down.  I had carefully made it to climb on to a dry leaf and left it safe.  I did the same to this one, before it fell off the wall.

Here is the series of shots stringed together.  [Click here]

Since it is a weekday, I had to leave for work.  So, I went away after I had left the two new butterflies safely on the Jaquemontia plant [vine] a few inches from where they had emerged. When I arrived for lunch, I saw those two fluttering above the pond and nearby plants.  In the evening, I could see two out of the four that had emerged happily flying about, leaving the empty, transparent chrysalis.  

It was nearly dark when I took these pictures using flash.

There are at least 3 more to watch, on the spider plant.  They should emerge this weekend.  This was the first time I've watched through stages from caterpillar to pupa to butterfly.


  1. Looks like there is so much happening in your 'yarden', Dinu! And what is more, others would have missed all the action that you have recorded!

  2. This was a delightful read. I loved seeing the photos!

  3. What a process! I had no idea. The second shot in this blog entry is AMAZING. Thanks for sharing, Dinu!


Your comment will be reviewed by the blog author before publishing.