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Part 3, following the life cycle of Pachliopta aristolochiae, or the common rose, or red-bodied swallowtail.

This totem looking figure is actually the chrysalis or pupa of this wonderful butterfly.

Interesting that the caterpillars leave their host plant behind when its time to pupate, and here Michael and I found this one on a Coleus plant nearby, giving a wonderful rich dark red background.

Look at the black silk strand that ties into its neck which it attaches to the plant as a caterpillar before it turns into a chrysalis, so it can hang free, strongly suspended.

A close up view with my macro lens...look at the air holes.

Butterflies undergo a complete metamorphosis, also known as Holometabolism. This form of insect development includes four life stages which we are following in the four days of blog: egg, larva, pupa and imago or adult. Immature stages ie the caterpillar - of holometabolous insects are very different from the mature stage of, in this case, the butterfly. They inhabit completely different ecological niches.

Here another, just look at that strand holding its neck.

The morphology and behaviour of each stage are adapted for different activities. For example, the caterpillars maximise on feeding, growth, and development, which anyone who has seen them eat and poop can attest. Butterflies are ideally suited, with their traits, for dispersal, mating, and egg laying.


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