Sunday, August 3, 2014

Little emperors

Here in Switzerland it rained almost non-stop throughout July and carried on in the same vein into August, breaking all-time records for precipitation and lack of sun. Despite that, Mrs Iris somehow managed to lay some eggs and I have been keeping an eye on five, on my daily dog-walk. Two of these hatched today and by great good fortune I happened to be there when the second one stuck her head out:

Apologies for picture quality - my compact struggles in poor light.

She then began eating her eggshell:

I say 'she' but I have no idea what sex she really is. I'm naming this season's caterpillars after gods and other beings from Hindu myth, so the first one to emerge was Brahmā and this one is Brahmā's consort, Sarasvatī. I found Brahmā earlier in the day, just as he finished consuming his Golden Egg:



irisscientist said...

Guy these are great photos. My A.ilia ova are now just beginning to hatch and these early larvae are really tiny. Truly great shots.

Guy said...

Thank you - I do appreciate your comments. I was very glad to get some record of this event because unless I camp out in the woods I have little chance of catching it again. I wonder, though, if it was entirely coincidence that I passed at that moment. My dog and I were waiting for it to stop raining before we went on our walk. Perhaps she was too...