Saturday, July 5, 2014

Swiss Update

Up here in the mountains things haven't kicked off yet.

Sadly, the caterpillar who chose to pupate under a sycamore leaf was gobbled up by some unknown creature, demonstrating that sometimes tradition trumps free thinking:

Hostilian on 16th June:

Hostilian on 19th June:

Another wild caterpillar I was following pupated on sallow but after about a week developed black spots (which have remained constant ever since). He is rather high up the tree but today, a little over two weeks since he pupated, I bent the tree down to see if he was still alive and take photos. He (or she) didn't wriggle when brushed with a leaf - which I think is a bad sign.

Can anyone suggest what these black spots are? They appear in broadly the same places on both sides but not symmetrically.

Novus today, 5th July:

A third individual reached pupation age, ate half his seat leaf (as they always do before wandering) and disappeared. He was on a small sapling and definitely left the plant. When I can find his pupa I will be able to say if he travelled via the ground or stuck to the aerial parts of plants.

Finally, here is a freshly emerged male in North Italy a couple of days ago:

He was quite unfazed by my Jack Russell, Minnie:


1 comment:

Matthew Oates said...

I too have had wild pupae disappear mysteriously. I suspect squirrels or dormice...