2.12.10

Citrus Butterfly


I always consider myself fortunate whenever I get to take close-up shots of butterflies.


Today I am more than fortunate. 
I managed to see this butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.
This is a Citrus Butterfly, Lime Butterfly, or Papilio Demoleus.
Can you imagine that such beauty only last for 5 days?


A butterfly doesn't have a mouth to bite nor chew.
It has a long straw like structure called proboscis that it uses to drink nectar. 
When not in use, it is coiled up.


When the butterfly was young and green, it wore a 'hair band'.
This caterpillar has a red tongue that resembles snake fangs.
This is the final stage of the caterpillar, shortly before it became a pupa.


When the caterpillar was even younger, it looked less attractive. 
Can you see why they are called 'bird droppings'?


I suspect this is where the caterpillar emerged from.
A Citrus Butterfly lays a single egg on each leaf.

Now that you have seen the entire Lifecycle of a Citrus Butterfly backwards, what next?
A mother butterfly laying eggs?
I am not that fortunate yet.
Perhaps you could help to complete the cycle with that image.

Happy Birthday to me!

34 comments:

  1. hi there

    i really love your blog. full with animals and insects. i love butterfly too :)

    nice blog you have

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  2. Please sing along... Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to KP, Happy Birthday to you.... clap, clap!!
    Beautiful rare shots of the butterfly, perhaps it seems to know today is your birthday, and this is a gift for someone who is kind and good with animals. ^..^

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  3. That is a gorgeous butterfly. Wow, great photos. Happy Birthday to you. I hope your day is a good one full of joy and relaxation.

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  4. Great photos! I love lepidoptera species where the droppings look like poop. I always hope for these to show up on citrus trees whenever I order them, but so far no luck.

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  5. Happy happy day to you, One. And no gift could be wrapped more beautifully than your brand new citrus butterfly! I hope you celebrate your special day with family and friends (us online chums included)! :-D

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  6. Happy birthday to you! It is always such a blessing to catch a glimpse of a new life starting. Loved the progression of shots - great post!

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  7. I've been waiting for the comment to post but i suddenly conked on me, lost my long comment. I said our birthdays are so close only a day in between. Mine was 30Nov, so we have lots of things in common, no wonder. Unlike me who is not as lucky the other day, you are so blessed because of that emerging butterfly, very symbollic. Congratulations. We have lots of P.demoleus too, cut i haven't seen it emerge. There is also another citrus butterfly which looks like that at the bird dropping stage, the one with reddish backwing margins, i posted earlier. I also haven't seen the pupa stage. How i wish i can also see its emergence.

    Happy Birthday and may you be fully blessed in the coming years.

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  8. Happy Birthday to you..!?

    Your photography is quite fantastic..

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  9. happy birthday to you.... i hope the caterpillars don't eat much and spoil the whole plant...

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  10. Amazing photos. Since it appears to be your birthday I add my birthday wishes for a spectacular day.

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  11. Happy Birthday to YOU!

    wow wow wow - what an amazing butterfly and what amazing macros.

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  12. Beautiful sight and beautiful photography. I love your head on shot of the caterpillar.

    I hope your birthday was wonderful.

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  13. The caterpillar does look like it is wearing a hairband. Happy birthday to you. Hope your received my present soon...hehehe...:)

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  14. Happy Birthday to you One...how young are you this year?:) Beautiful butterfly but I dont like the look of that caterpillar with the 'hairband'..Im squimish abt them! Hope you have many many more birthdays coming your way and have a great birthday celebration with your loved ones!

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  15. Happy Birthday One!
    So this the outcome of citrus catterpillar! I always remove it at the very early stage...perhaps "bird dropping stage" if i encounter one! You're kind enough to let it grow!

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  16. Butir Star, Thank you. Glad you like them. You seem very proficient with your Bahasa. See you more often...

    Joyce, Thank you. A gift all wrapped up with a chrysalis? I didn't think of it that way. Nice idea.

    Donna, Thank you for the wishes. It was full of joy indeed transferring many plants from small pots to bigger ones. I am easily contented. :)

    Eliza, You are really funny. Almost everyone else try to get rid of them. I wish I could post you the eggs. :)

    Kris, It was a fantastic gift. I didn't get to open the present though.

    Cat, Glad you like the progression of shots. Or should it be regression of shots?

    Andrea, Oh! Your birthday is just 2 days before mine. Happy Belated Birthday!!! Is it symbolic to see an emerging butterfly on One's birthday? Maybe that's why I felt as if I'm living a new life. I didn't see much of the struggling. Only got to view the final stage.

    Cina Fong, Thank you. Happy that you like them.

    Bangchik, Much to my surprise when I first decided to leave the caterpillars alone, they don't harm the plant. No doubt they eat leaves but new ones keep growing.

    Patty, Thank you for your wishes.

    Rosie, Thank you. Kind compliments from a professional is really very, very much appreciated.

    Missy, Thank you. Cute green caterpillar. I wish I could show you its red fangs. Really scary.

    Diana, Looking forward to receive your birthday present. Thank you for taking the effort.

    Malar, I used to remove them too. Later I realized that they don't harm the tree. They just eat some leaves. New leaves keep growing and so does the tree. Thank you for the wishes.

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  17. What a beauty!! Fabulous portraits of the butterfly, caterpillar and egg! Only five days. . . what a pity. Wishing you a hundred years of good health, love and happiness! Happy Birthday!! Thanks for sharing. ;>)

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  18. Oh One. These are beautiful butterfly pictures. Yours looks to be a cousin of tiger swallow tail--without the tales. You were very lucky to get it coming from its chrysalis. Really nice pictures of the life cycle. cheers. ann

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  19. Though I usually hate bugs, this caterpillar is so cute!!! Bonus for transforming into a beautiful butterfly. Hope they don't damage your plants too much though...

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  20. what a wonderful birthday present! We recently watched a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis and photographed it. It is no nice to have them still so that you can take photos. Beautiful butterfly and great photos thanks for shairng!

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  21. Carol, Thank you for your lovely wishes.

    Ann, It is a swallowtail. Its cousin is in your garden?

    Aaron, I think the hair band made it look cute.

    Africanaussie, I remember I saw a similar event in your blog some time back.

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  22. I really like the close-up look of the caterpillar.

    It is wonderful. And is wonderful to say Happy Birthday to you.

    By the way, the white dots in the wet picture are actually the rain drops.

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  23. Waw, wonderful pictures! i really liked..

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  24. I will keep coming by to see this wonderful space you have.

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  25. Post Comment: How was your birthday celebration. I should PM you on it but my connection is slow, so just came in here. Also, i posted some creatures now, not anymore plants, i hope you like them. But of course butterflies to me are still in the first place for beauty!

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  26. Happy belated Birthday! A butterfly emerging from the chrysalis on your big day would mean that you are FREE from all worries and happy as can be! Thanks to you, now I can connect my own caterpillar puzzle. Before this I didn't know how to match the mama with baby. Cheers!

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  27. Lovely post, really amazing photos. Well done

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  28. In the concrete asphalt isle where I reside, propagating and planting, I am fortunate if I see 2 or 3 butterflies a day. Not much variety but always happy to have these visitors in search for nectar..

    What I do get in abundance is hummingbirds...

    Excellent post...Until then from the Caribbean...

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  29. Belated birthday wishes from me!! Your photos are gorgeous! The lime butterfly is beautiful! And I loved the head-band photo. Thanks for the chuckle!

    Have a great weekend!

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  30. Rainfield, Glad you like the front view of the caterpillar. Next time, I will take the back view.

    Dejemonos, Thank you for coming by. Love your blog. Excellent photos.

    Andrea, Love your web photos.

    Autumn Belle, Thank you for your nice interpretation. It took me quite a long while to match those jigsaw puzzles since there are many types of caterpillars and butterflies here.

    Stone Art, Thank you for coming by. Hope to see you around often.

    Antigonum Cajan, There are quite a few hummingbirds here but I have not gotten any clear shots yet. Thanks for the kind compliments from the Caribbean.

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  31. Happy Birthday :) So enjoy your butterfly posts!

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  32. Bravo !!!!!! Great photos.

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  33. Nice shots One! This one beautiful butterfly. I hope this kind of citrus butterly will visit to my garden so that I could see it in real. Have a great Sunday!

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  34. Very nice! I always like to see little caterpillars grow and become butterflies.

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