Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Adventures of Pupation

Those of a more squeamish nature would be better off stopping.




I have a lovely progression of pupation currently going on with my three caterpillars. And, really, how often can you say that? It seems that the feeding frenzy that demolished my aunt's potted flowers was in preparation for their transition into these:

This one was still polishing off leaf after leaf after the other two had begun molding leaves around themselves, with the help of a little sticky silk. It's in transition now, and in fact you can still see the much-compressed eyespots still on its back--the part facing away from the camera.

This one was by far the most successful in making its leaf-cocoon. Therefore, I didn't see much of what happened to this guy until I saw all three had begun pupating, and decided to take them out to clean the jar and throw out the uneaten leaves.

This guy never ate at all, but began pupating right away. It's the darkest in color.

What's cool is that you can see the outlines of what will become each part of the newly formed moth-the angular top will be the head, proboscis, and legs, and the mold of where the wings will form, wrapped halfway around the body, is clear down to the venations. The right-most, segmented area is the thorax. It's the biggest part of the body because it stores a lot of blood and fluid that is then pumped into the wings to straighten them when the moth emerges. As well as, of course, storing all those important organs.

I can only assume these three are siblings from the same moth momma, so the progression also shows which caterpillar hatched first.


dk said...

why am i not surprised that the first thing i see on this site is a bunch of bugly little things! now i expect an animated chronicle of their metamorphosis by the end of the summer, missy! :)

somimi said...

Bugly! I like that word. What can I say, the bugs just come to me, haha. Oh man, animated chronicle, that would be great. I've actually found out how to do stopmotion-ish using my camera and Quicktime Pro, so maybe I will give that a try.