Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Early stages of Common Cerulean

The female butterfly oviposits eggs on the stems of host plant and the eggs are laid singly near the flower buds. Eggs are having round shape and light bluish color in appearance.

Egg to 3rd instar caterpillar of Common Cerulean

After hatching, the larva of common cerulean eats its eggshell as the first meal. Initially it is having a pale yellow color which gradually changes to pale brown. The larva feeds on flower buds of the host plant. The 1st and second instars are difficult to spot because of their size.

Third to fourth instar caterpillars
As the time passes, the larva become perfectly camouflaged and is well protected from the predators. The color changes to pale green/ white and length of the larva get increased.   

Later, the Common Cerulean larva becomes greenish color with the upperside having pale green/white patch. From this stage onward, its blood veins easily visible. The final instar is having purple/ brown ground color with markings.

At the later stage of final instar, the larva starts wandering on the host plant to find a better place to pupate. It often chooses the underside of a mature leaf.

The matured pupa starts to show the black patch on the upperside forewing. The colors starts growing and on the next day, it ends the pupal stage. Freshly emerged butterfly stays for about 1 hour passing its body fluids and drying its wings. 

Freshly emerged common cerulean

Common cerulean on my fingertip

Camouflaged larva on rosary pea flowers

Camouflaged larva on its host plant 

No comments:

Post a Comment