Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lime Butterfly @ West Coast

20090619_2613-320If you come across a Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus) around the West Coast Road area, it is very likely one of my wife, Wai Yen’s babies.

You see Wai Yen has been rearing and releasing Lime Butterflies for the past 8 months. 

It all started with a Limau Purut (Kaffir Lime) plant a friend gave us and a lime plant my daughter grew from seed.

20090404_0210-320Within 2 weeks of having the plants, the Lime butterflies found the plants and caterpillars started chomping on the new leaves.  Instead of killing the caterpillars, Wai Yen started rearing them and feeding them with older leaves so that the young leaves on the plants have a chance to grow.

Aug 2009 : Lime Butterfly drying its wings on Ceropegia woodii
Those butterflies she released eventually come back to lay eggs on our lime plants and the cycle continues !  It has reached a point where we always have a few Lime Butterfly caterpillars and pupae in our house and she sometimes has to get Lime leaves from her friends ;-)

All in all she has released more than 30 Lime Butterflies this year !

We are expecting Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete) and Peacock Royal (Tajuria cippus) caterpillars anytime soon as Dendropthoe pentandra, a parasitic plant has started growing on our Sui Mei and Bottle Brush Tree.


20090619_2618-320Jun 2009 : A newly emerged Lime Butterfly drying its wings
on a Sui Mei (Wrightia religiosa plant)

20090416_0113-320Apr 2009 : A newly emerged Lime Butterfly resting on a
Syzgium campanulatum (Eugenia oleina) plant

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