Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Eat, eat, eat

Here in Nicaragua, the rainy season has been underway for about a month, with rain on most nights now, sometimes heavy and/or prolonged rains. This has turned Laguna de Apoyo's Tropical Dry Forest into a lush, green world where everyday there are more butterflies out and about.

All those butterflies were eggs first, then caterpillars. This caterpillar will eat, eat, eat, and eventually metamorphose into a Mexican Fritillary (Euptoieta hegesia), a small to medium-sized orange butterfly that's common from the southwestern US into South America. As usual, click on the photo for a detailed view.

Here's a little video of it eating.

video

When it's done eating, it will retreat to secluded spot, usually under a leaf, and metamorphose into a chrysalis, from which the adult butterfly will emerge. It will then look like this:

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