Thursday, November 26, 2009

Caterpillar on Lemon Plant

I read in Blur Ting's Growing Vegetable with Ms. Green Finger blog that lime butterfly loves lime plant. This time a butterfly chooses to lay eggs on my lemon plant (also another plant under the citrus family group).

Last Friday I found 2 tiny newly hatched larvae in black colour crawling on the leaves of my lemon plant. After the weekend, the 2 black babies have grown into 2 fat green caterpillars. They have chewed many leaves from my lemon plant. However, I didn't want to kill them or throw them away. I am fascinated by their presence in my garden. I left them to enjoy their free meals & boarding. This morning I went out looking for them again, but I can't find them anymore. I wonder if they have metamorphose into pupas or chrysalis. I can't wait to see them turned into butterflies.

Caterpillars spend their whole life eating and growing.
Caterpillars eat approximately eight times their body mass each day.

I have found some interesting reading materials on butterfly and its life cycle. If you are keen, do read on.

From the website entitled BUTTERFLIES AND THEIR LARVAL FOODPLANTS by Peter J. Bryant, he said:

Butterflies can be attracted to your garden by providing suitable flowers from which they can obtain nectar. Most butterflies can utilize a wide variety of flowers, including those of many cultivated varieties, as nectar sources. However, a more critical need is for the plants that provide food for the larval (caterpillar) stages, and most species will accept only one or a few species of plants at this stage. If a butterfly is found near your area, you can probably attract it and increase its population by planting the correct foodplants for the caterpillars. Although the caterpillars will feed on the leaves of these plants, the damage is usually minor and only temporary. Caterpillars of some species feed on plants that are usually considered weeds, and you can benefit populations of these species by not removing all of the weeds.

The Life Cycle of A Butterfly

The butterfly's life cycle is made up of four stages. Follow the links given to find out more about each life cycle stage of a butterfly:

The Life Cycle of Butterfly picture was taken from here.


Stephanie said...

The caterpillar does look cute :-D


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