LEARNING ABOUT BUTTERFLIES- Part-4

LEARNING ABOUT BUTTERFLIES- Part-4
No, this time the learning experience did not occur at the Butterfly Zone at Lalbandh; it was a pleasant ‘home experience’ in reality with a quite a bit of photographic help from my son, Sayonil Mitra, student of 3rd Year Mathematics at Visva Bharati. Still we missed the key incidence as none of us were present at that very moment. Anyway, on the whole it was a very interesting observation for all of us including my wife.
Butterfly:-Common Indian Crow (Euploea core)
Plant :- Karabi (N Oleander)
1This is Mister(?) Indian Crow butterfly on a wild bush. I have termed the ‘Mister’ with a question mark, just because till date I have not become expert enough to distinguish between male and female butterflies until and unless they are visually fairly different. In case of the Common Indian Crow variety the visual difference is just that tiny little beyond my observational power right now. The Crow butterflies are interesting in that aspect that they are leisurely and effortless fliers and they are among the few butterflies who can glide through the air with very little movement of the wings.
234At around November, considered to be the very fag end of the breeding season for butterflies, winter being the dormant season, I noticed a few Common Crow larvae in the pinkish flowered oleander plant at my home. As an immediate response I planted two of them at the Lalbandh area and kept watch on things that evolved in my home garden. The larvae of Common Crow remained kind of a slow eater compared to larvae of other butterflies, most probably because oleander leaves are rather thick with plenty of juice to absorb. But soon the larvae was eager to turn into a pupa after about 7 days.
56At this rather brief phase of turning into a pupa, spanning less than 24 hours, I turned rather philosophical. The larvae was knowingly (?) going for a kind of meditation to attain a free and flying metamorphosis into a butterfly- wow, what a flying liberty from the mundane self in a single lifetime!
78910The pupa kept on changing colours sequentially as shown in the photograph and remained suspended over a longish hibernating period. I think the advent of winter made the hibernation period stretched almost to two weeks. We kept on observing, and the pupa did nothing but change its colours once in a while.
1112We missed the actual eruption of the Common Indian Crow butterfly as I was in office, and my son at college. A frenetic telephone call from home brought my son back hurriedly at home between periods to click a few snaps. The new born butterfly kept glued to its home for about an hour with extremely tentative wings; ultimately to take its deserved flying plunge into life. When I came back at the evening, it was an empty home! All in my family missed the butterfly company and felt a bit sad.
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Thanks,
Shubhashis

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