A few weeks ago I was on my usual afternoon photo session in the jungle when I came across my first tropical caterpillar. After returning to "Jedi", I went online to research this caterpillar and see which Butterfly it would change into. Unfortunately none of the photos I found on the Internet matched my caterpillar.
Curious as I am, I decided to capture one and keep it on the boat to keep tabs on it's development. So armed with a cannister with holes in the lid and pair of siccors to cut some leaves for it to eat, I set of on my mission.
The same caterpillar was still there (he must have been waiting for me) and capturing it was a piece of cake.
The next day while gathering new leaves for my new pet I saw at least 6 more of the same species of caterpillar only much smaller, which led me to believe I would not have to wait too long for some action on the metamorphosis front. Sure enough 2 days later the caterpillar is gone and there is a chrysalis hanging from the lid of the cannister. It was not the chrysalis I had expected, it wasn't nice and smooth but rough and had holes with golden spikes sticking out.
At first I thought it might be dead but the next day when I checked up on him I saw him move, so he was just playing dead. During my research I found out that the chrysalis stage could take from 1 week to a year, depending on various circumstances. Luck was with me for 8 days later there was a beautiful Orange banded Heliconia butterfly in the cannister.
After taking this picture, I took him (I know it was a male because he has brighter colors than the female) back to his place of birth in the jungle, where he flew away without looking back.
Josie & Nick