Friday, 9 October 2015

Peacock Butterfly Emerging Video!

Finally the video is uploaded...

I have put over 4 hours worth of video, from the first signs of change to a butterfly with straight wings, into a 3min 33sec video. The first part with the stills taken at 10 min intervals you can see that the butterfly seems to be "unsticking" itself from the cocoon in stages. This takes about 2 hours and then there appears to be period of rest. The second part of the video is where the gorgeous creature breaks out by splitting the chrysalis and pulling itself out, this section I have sped up by 2x. The last part of the process is where the body changes shape (can't be seen in this video) and the wings straighten, this I have shown at 5x normal speed.

I hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Green Veined White Butterfly in our new Flowerbed

My OH created this gorgeous video of a beautiful butterfly feeding from the Hebe flowers in our new flowerbed...

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Peacock - Day 14 - Butterfly!

I am so excited!!! Last night we decided to set up the video camera and some lighting to see if we could capture the Peacock emerging. The pupa was looking really dark and as the Peacock has jet black under wings we thought that now could be a good time.

Completely different colouring than the last photos 4 days ago!
We also know that the butterflies emerged early in the morning last year. So my lovely OH did a fantastic job setting up the "studio".

The video camera was plugged in (so no chance the battery could run out), a 32Gb card would give us 8 hours of video (fingers crossed), the low wattage lights were positioned, the camera was focused and now all we had to do was wait......

...... When I got up this morning there was a butterfly positioned beautifully next to the empty cocoon! The camera was still running! The card wasn't full! - YES!!!! It had worked, at last we could see the moment a Peacock butterfly emerges.

The video is fantastic!! A real eye opener, I had no idea that the whole process took so long. It's going to take me a while to edit this video, but I will do my best because it is just sooooo good!

The video was uploaded on the 9th October 2015, but I am putting it here too

Monday, 31 August 2015

Peacock - Day 9 - Pupa (Detailed Photos)

Here are two fantastic shots of the pupa, taken by my OH..

The pupa has slightly different colouring from when it first changed, I should imagine that he will be emerging in the next few days

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Peacock - Day 3 - Pupa

I came down this morning to a changed caterpillar and the skin he had just shed (which is fascinating).

You can see where the head part has split in two.
Here you can clearly see his little legs all bunched up
And now he looks like this..

What a miraculous change!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Peacock - Day 1

We found this little fella marching across the road today! I just had to have him but I didn't have my caterpillar transporting pot with me. Luckily we weren't very far from home so I carried him on my hands, he wouldn't stay still and he walked all the way home from one hand to the other. We managed to catch it on video too. He is so fast!

He looks quite big and is very active so he is probably not far off from becoming a pupa!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Red Admiral II - Day Twelve - Butterfly

Isn't he a stunner!! No video, but at least I have this..

It amazes me every time!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Red Admiral II - Day Eleven

I realised that I hadn't taken a photo of the pupa and I think that the butterfly will emerge very soon!

Look at the webbing that he is attached to!!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Red Admiral II - Day Four - Pupa

I finally captured a caterpillar turning in to a pupa - it's not great video as it was all a bit of a panic! (I will be embed this video as soon as I have finished editing!)

Monday, 3 August 2015

Red Admiral II - Day Three

That didn't take long - J time! I can't believe that he decided to attach himself to the netting at the top of the caterpillarium.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Red Admiral II - Day One

On our walk today I found a Red Admiral caterpillar folded in a nettle leaf. He was in a vulnerable spot where the property owners could be cutting back their over grown garden any day. So he came back with me to the caterpillarium, where he will be safe, cosy and have plenty to eat.

Gorgeous little creature!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Small White - Day 12 - Butterfly no. 5 Emerges - Video

Finally, I have managed to capture a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis!!

Unfortunately this poor little fella ended up being deformed, having only half a wing on one side. When I released him I walked down the road with him cupped in my hands until we got to a huge patch of thistles (a small white favourite). I placed him on the plant and he strolled about on the plant. I'm sure he didn't last too long, but I did my best!

Small White - Day 12 - Butterfly 2, 3, 4 & 5!!

It was chaos in the caterpillarium today!! Four butterflies emerged within hours of each other

First to emerge was the pupa on the ceiling:

Then came the pupa at the bottom of the glass:
You can see the web on the glass that he was clinging to 

Then came the one above him:

They were both on the glass quite close to each other:

This was the best shot I could get of the top side of their wings, as there was so much going on it was hard to capture:

Then came the last one at the top of the glass (while the others were drying out and beginning to fly for the first time). This little fella has his own post as I finally managed to capture him emerging on video!! See above.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Small White - Day 8 - Butterfly One

This afternoon I noticed that the first Small White Butterfly had emerged from the first pupa.

Resting on a thistle before release
Unfortuately, this little fella's wings haven't straightened fully yet fingers crossed!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Small White - Day 2 - Pupa

That was quick! The other 4 caterpillars are all pupa, 3 are in formation attached to the glass of the caterpillarium, the other is on the ceiling!?!

I can't get a good photo but this is of the 3 on the glass, before they turned:

All very odd!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Small White - Day 1 - Caterpillars

Today I collected caterpillars and a pupa from a lovely couple we visited this afternoon who grow cabbages, amongst many other things. Their cabbages were being munched on by some Small White caterpillars, we removed them all and I saved 4 caterpillars and a pupa to bring home.

Small White Caterpillar
Small White Pupa
The pupa was attached to the cabbage leaf with its webbing.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Red Admiral - Day 16 - Release Day

Release day! Here are just a couple of shots of this lovely butterfly on my hand just before flying off to his new life
Look at those beautiful wings

Steadying himself in the breeze
Video to come! (As soon as the weather is not too good for a few days, I will do it soon!)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Red Admiral - Day 15 - Emerge

I can't believe this!!!! It's been a week since my Red Admiral became a pupa and to my surprise, I was just about to cook dinner and I noticed this:

What are you doing here already?
It has been so hot this week, temperatures of 32 degrees (reaching 27 degrees indoors) which is the only explanation for this little monkey emerging a week earlier than I expected! So this must have happened during the day, while I was around, but I just missed it again aaaggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Rant over!!

This butterfly is just so gorgeous and this is just his underwings as he was drying out

What a stunner!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Red Admiral - Day 8 - Pupa

Had to go out for most of the day today and guess what, my caterpillar turned in to a pupa and I missed it!! No time to get pics either as we have friends coming to stay, busy, busy!!!.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Red Admiral - Day 5

Well this fella is growing real fast!! He is very tidy, staying mainly in his folded leaf he eats and poops in there. Then when there is no room left he moves to a new leaf and starts again.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Red Admiral - Day 1

My first butterfly caterpillar of 2015 is a Red Admiral that I found in the nettles, behind our garage (seems a good place for caterpillars to hang out!). He was all curled up in a folded leaf "sewn" together with his webbing. I didn't recognise him straight away, but after a quick visit online I was sure he was a Red Admiral.

I can't believe that the first caterpillar I found this year is not one I have had before!!

Well here he is...
All curled up and not very happy at being disturbed!

All settled in his new home and "sewing" himself into a new leaf

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Finally! My Peacock Butterfly video

At last, I have uploaded the video I made of the Peacock Butterflies I reared last summer. It's probably a bit long but I had so much good stuff to put in it I couldn't help myself.

Friday, 10 April 2015

First sightings of 2015!

We went for a lovely walk in the local woods today and saw some butterflies. Unfortunately no photo opportunities but it's early days yet!! I was quite surprised to see so many different species, they were the usual suspects for this time of year:

Brimstone, Red Admiral, Orange Tip, Peacock and a Holly Blue (smaller than I imagined).

I can't wait to study/rear some different species this year.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Round Three - Day Two Hundred and Fifty Three - Update

I decided to release the pupa near where ragwort was growing last year, as that is where they would have been naturally. I will never know now what happens!