We found a little caterpillar (4cm long) while gardening the other day and decided to keep her. (Notice how all creatures found in our premises are automatically female! haha..).
The very next day we awoke to find that she had turned into a pupae, shorter than her caterpillar length. From 4cm, she shrunk to be come just a 2cm long pupae.
Over the days we monitored her, but nothing much changed, except for tiny changes in shape. Then on day 6, we noticed a clear outline of her wings in yellow.
Here a front view of her new wing. Unclear as pic taken from outside the container.
Day 7 of pupae stage showed great difference. There were distinct black lines and patterns on her wings and her eyes could be seen.
This is her again, 7th day of Pupae Stage
I new she'd be out very soon....but wasn't so sure when. We read that when a pupae turns a dark colour and starts shaking, the butterfly will soon emerge, and that usually happens in the morning. However, today morning we had signed up for a short computing course for our girls and had to leave home for a while. After the morning session, we rushed home to find that she'd transformed already. So we missed the whole process where she emerged. How sad... :(
Seeing how beautiful she was, my girls named her Beauty Blunis. (Beauty by Nel and Blunis after Jo). She's much larger than the pupae that she was and my girls were amazed at how she'd fit in that little shell. We've read tonnes about how a caterpillar goes through the stages to evolve into a butterfly.... but to see it happen over the days is amazing...and we're still in awe. My girls wonder...how did the wings form and how did the colour change? How did the fluid form parts such as the proboscis? How did an almost "legless" caterpillar form 6 legs? Yes, they're still in awe, and so am I. :)
So reluctantly we took Blunis out into the open and took off the cover. However, she did not come out immediately and stayed in for a while.
Then she flew out and sat on the edge of the container..and my girls had a last look. We were happy for her, in awe and yet so reluctant and sad to let her go. After all, we've been watching her for days and hours.
Then Blunis took a short flight over to the nearest leaf, where she lingered still a while more, before finally taking off really high up over the trees and away. Ahhh....sighs my heart.....such a beautiful butterfly and we miss her already.
Here's our "empty nest" now that she's free. :) We found some yellow liquid left on the bottom of the container after she left, not stinky but a unique smell.
Update: Turns out our butterfly is male! and a Striped Albatross. Info can be found here.