Friday, February 8, 2008

The Common Palmfly

The Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra) is a common butterfly in Singapore. It is so named because it is common; and its caterpillar feeds on many species of Palms.

I used to be able to easily find 3 ~ 4 Common Palmfly caterpillars feeding on Yellow Cane Palm (Dypsis lutescens) in my condominium. However, the recent frequent fumigations to combat Aedes mosquito have virtually killed all the Common Palmfly caterpillars in my condo ;-( So I was pleasantly surprised when I found a late instar Common Palmfly caterpillar on a Pygmy Dwarf Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) in mid January. I guess the Monsoon season rain must have contributed to the survival of this caterpillar. I took the caterpillar back, reared it and it pupated 6 days later. 7 days later it emerged from the pupa. It rested on my Sui Mui plant for a few hours before it took off.

I have lost count of how many caterpillars I have reared and released over the years. I think the number is anywhere between 50 to 100. One of these days I will flip through my log book and do a count.

No comments: