Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Common Jezebel Eclosion

Watching the eclosion of Plain Tiger Butterfly is still fresh in mind.  

I happened to notice a caterpillar on the compound wall close to the Fiddlewood Tree. This was on 11th December.

It was not moving.  Next day, I saw it still in the same position, but it seemed to be sticking silk at its rear end, which I felt was upside down.  So with the knowledge given by my Mexico-living friend, Beverly, I now knew it was preparing itself for making its chrysalis.

 On 13th December morning I rushed to see how it was.  Lo, it had already made a chrysalis. It was still settling itself in, making itself comfortable, just like we settle in our bed covering with a rug in winter!! It had made just a few minutes ago, or so I felt. 

On 14th morning again, I checked.  It had settled nicely.  Since I had spotted the empty chrysalis of the Common Jezebel recently, I guessed this was also a caterpillar of the Jezebel.

The chrysalis was just below the corniced top of the compound wall. I felt a need to give some protection from the birds as it was prominent.  I had hung up a cloth covering shielding its view. I kept a watch every day.  On 22nd December evening, I checked for any change in colour.  There was a hint which meant that eclosion would be very very soon.  Beverly had written it would be about 7 days.

Today, 23rd December, first thing in the morning, I went to see. There were wing patterns visible through the now transparent chrysalis.  
I was worried about its upside down position.  So I removed it carefully and hung it with a thread. 

Since it was 8.40 am it was late.   So I rushed in for my quick ablutions. When I was about to leave for work, I saw that it had already showing its wings!!  I rushed in again to take a picture and ran in to keep the camera back in.  I buttoned my shirt while leaving in a hurry!  I was yet again, Dagwood Bumstead. 

My guess was on dot.  It is indeed a Common Jezebel.  

There was the second one below the compound cornice again.  Yesterday I knew it would emerge today.  It was in its chrysalis on 21st December morning.  Today, 24th, it emerged.  Just 4 days.  Cool temperatures. I was there as if waiting for the moment. 8.10 am.  Hand held, I shot a series of pictures at intervals for about 15 minutes and then went for breakfast.  See the "slideo" - this is another new word I coined just now!! Howzzat?  See: [Click}

My tying with the thread was perhaps needless, because this one came out from the horizontal position quite smoothly.

There was a third chrysalis close by.  Pictured this on 17th December. It was fresh and fine.

Look at its fate this evening when I went to check.  It was fine and still green in the morning.  Ants had attacked it. It should have emerged soon, see its colouring.  So with that, one beauty less in nature, but that is part of Nature.

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