Little corkystem passionvines are popping up all over the yard. We've got two babies in a couple corners of the yard, along with the one that's been growing up the banyan. The gulf fritillary butterflies have taken an interest in it; there's a bunch of spiky orange caterpillars in various sizes.
The ones in the buckets haven't been eaten, though, despite a single egg I found on a leaf. And it turns out the paper wasps might have been hunting them. I found one sniffing up and down a vine today.
8D They're starting to pupate!
Found a chrysalis hanging from the edge of a flower pot.
He was twitching pretty hard and sitting in direct sunlight, so I turned the pot so he'd be on the shady side.
Dunno if that's what he wanted -- he was the one who picked the spot in the first place. But maybe he picked it while it was shady. The sun's really hot right now and I don't see how he wouldn't roast in his little black coat. He did calm down after I turned him, at least.
He got eaten. :c
Next time I find one, I'm moving it inside. Just one.
All the caterpillars seem to have vanished, too. Even the zebra longwing that showed up.
The single egg hatched into a newborn babe, and I found one more very tiny one, and that's it. Kinda tempted to take them and raise them myself.
I'm not sweating it too much, though. The fritillaries seem to breed all year, so there will be more.
Transferred three caterpillars into two jars. The tiny pinky-nail baby gets his own jar. Then an incher and a twoincher are sharing the larger half-gallon jar.
Back when I raised monarchs, I used to just pinch off the leaves and throw them in. This time I'll try snipping off cuttings, putting them in water, and letting them go at it. Some of the vines need thinned anyway.
Growing babies who molted and then cleaned up their mess afterward: Incher (more like inch-and-a-halfer), Pinkynail (more like thumbnail)
Picky beans who only eat the soft tender bits: Pinkynail
Good children who eat all their vegetables down to the nubs: Twoinch
Crybabies who sulk at the slightest disturbance including touching their stem or talking too loud: Incher
Moved Twoinch into the pupation station because he was showing big-time signs, and he has since crawled onto the ceiling, weaved his launchpad, and just now entered J formation.
Oh my goooooddd I hope he had enough to eat. I'm so excited!
Was kinda worried it was Incher, because it's still way early, but nope, Incher's over here eating his salad and leaving the center bits as is his wont. I'm sure he'll be ready, too, in a few days.
PUPATION PART TWO: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
Incher is ready to gooooo!
I was hesitant on moving him to the pupation station because I didn't want him to hurt Twoinch, but those wingbuds are *popping* so he got moved in.
He scoped out the spindliest little side branch of the lot, pacing back and forth, hanging from it and measuring the reach with his body, and I'm like, little guy that is a tiny branch, are you sure you want that one?
He's weaving his launchpad right now, so yes, apparently he does.
Pinkynail's growing huge and acclimating nicely to the new jar. I got worried because she would sniff at the leaves but then walk away, and then abandon the sprig outright and go searching, as though there was something about it that she didn't like. She was clearly hungry, and I knew it wasn't a molt.
I cut her some fresh sprigs with tender greens, and she eventually ate them to the nubs, and is now eating the rest. Good.
Can't believe how tiny she was when I found her, looking at her now.
Twoinch emerged as a beautiful lady this morning, while I was asleep. I would've liked to take a picture, but she was ready to GO, and I didn't want her to beat up her wings.
She flew up, over the house, and was gone.
I wish her luck! It'd be neat if she came back someday and laid eggs on the vine again.
Incher is likely to emerge within the day. He's looking very dark.
Pinkynail is, unfortunately, no more. She acted kinda sick over the last couple days, then went into what I hoped was a molt, but finally succumbed.
Such a shame. Nature is not kind to little caterpillars. I can only guess at what went wrong.
At some point prior, while cleaning out her jar, I discovered I had inadvertently brought in another tiny baby on one of her sprigs. A zebra longwing.
No updates for now, since there's a chance it caught whatever she had, too. This baby will be my last.
In other news, I found a very fat and very prominent fritillary caterpillar chilling out on one of my plants, who seems to have stuck around the last couple days. AND some gremlin has come by and laid a whole bunch of eggs on the tender bits of the vines.
I think it'd be neat if Twoinch had come back to her mother plant and laid them there, but judging from their placement, I'm thinking it was something else. Probably a zebra, perhaps a Julia.
Still neat, though!
@ToonLink I was about to say if we didn’t get a single butterfly pic outta all this I was gonna riot
@MK HAHAHAHA man, I wouldn't have been able to raise a hand to it, either, because it would've been so deserved.
I got up early so I could catch him coming out, 'cause damn it, I'm gonna get a pic of ONE of them!