Thursday, May 28, 2015

Two-headed beastie

Many higher instar caterpillars, very inconsiderately, as Matthew says, climb higher up their sallows to spend more time in the sun. Today I was gazing up into Agni's sallow, trying to spot him, when I saw a shadow on a leaf of a neighbouring tree. It was moving a bit and eventually the head came into view off the edge of the leaf:

Four horns! This was a fourth instar larva caught in the act of moulting into fifth. I moved so the head was against the further leaf, not the sky:

The old head is beneath, gazing down on the camera, and the new head, with soft, light-coloured horns, is above. Some shed skin is visible.

I did eventually find Agni. He entered 5th instar on 16th May, 12 days ago. The tree is dense with leaves and it will be pure luck if I can find his pupa:

Finally, a cute picture of Māyā, a fourth instar caterpillar:

Less than a month to the first adults ...


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