Last week at Pulau Tinggi, a Croton plant outside my chalet was infested with mealy bugs. I noticed some of the mealy bugs were rather big. They were between 5mm to 8mm long. On closer examination, I realised they were not mealy bugs but caterpillars ! In fact I have seem these big ‘mealy bugs’ before and it never occurred to me that they wre butterfly caterpillars.
Unlike most butterfly caterpillars, the caterpillar of the butterfly from the tribe Miletini are carnivorous and feeds on Homoptera and ants broods.
These are some photos of these big ‘mealy bugs’ :
3. This caterpillar has moved away from its food source and prepare to anchor itself to a leave to start the process of transforming to a pupa.