Monday, March 5, 2018

Life Transformations unlike ours!

It is already very hot at the start of February, the temperatures resemble that of what were in April to May of the past years. Can you imagine 38°C immediately following the colder temps of 27C? The Easterlies Winds suddenly stopped, so our temperatures immediately sour to heights. Respiratory sickness is also on the rise, and that includes me. Last weekend colds and cough set in on Friday and the weekend was really bad. I know i need to rest, but because i am not used to sleeping during the day, i cannot sleep, and i cannot help not touching anything in my condo unit. So i clean the house a little, wash some clothes and cook. I guess that is not much to be stressful and weaken my situation. I also did some carrots and cucumber juicing which i still lugged to the office. I am still not well, but have to go to work.

My situation got worst because my airconditioning unit has to be pulled-out by the technician to be repaired. And i need to wait for maybe one week to have my room temperature be colder again. Oh life, how sad! But i will post my photos taken the other week when i was at home in the province.

I always leave house in the province at 6:30 in the morning to search for butterflies. I already have one area under some tall trees that i consider to be a "butterfly sanctuary", as there are always a few butterflies there, plus some bigger moths. Sometimes i go there after going to some areas, but this time i went there first.

ZEBRA BLUE OR PLUMBAGO BLUE
Leptotes plinius leopardus Schultze 1910 
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

I have spotted this butterfly only a few months ago in another site, this time it was in the "sanctuary". I enclosed it in quotation marks because i just coined that word for this place. There were a few of them there, transferring from this broad-leaf weed to another clump of a white flowered weed. I never knew then what the weed's ID is. 

upper side of the female

female and male courting

Seeing a few of them there early in the morning gave me an idea that a host plant maybe nearby. They did not fly far from the area, only going back and forth to two group of plants. I suspected that they are the host plants, until i see one in action. One below is actually ovipositing on the cluster of flower buds.

caught in action, ovipositing on Plumbago zeylanica

can you see 2 spherical eggs, one on top more mature

I searched among the buds, in between them and in everything there. I was not able to see any larvae but a few tiny eggs, which my lens cannot capture well. Those protrusions on the buds are sticky and maybe they camouflage there perfectly, as the protrusions look like small eggs.

more scrutinizing gave me a pupa, side view, it looks like one of the protruding fruit of the plant

clearer view of the pupa side view, showing design of the wing, it hangs downwards

top view of the pupa, tail on top

a better view of the pupa

the blooming inflorescence of Plumbago zeylanica


It is difficult to see any pupa there without really looking intently. Maybe a magnifying glass will help, but i do not have it yet. I actually look at the picture in my camera to see whether i already got it right, then take lots of photos to choose better angles. My naked eyes, not so 20:20 vision, is not good anymore for their size.


Above is the thicket of the Plumbago zeylanica. Actually, i only realized the connection after identifying the plant, which came in a few days after. How clever, the butterfly is named Plumbago Blue. It is one of the blues and hosted by Plumbago zeylanica

Lastly, i took the pupa home to be sure if it is really a Plumbago Blue. Unfortunately, i forgot to take it with me when i left for the city where i work. Ialways texted my sister at home for the progress of the pupa. She just observed it got darker in color. Lo and behold, after a week of observation it eclosed, but when she was about to photograph it, it just duddenly flew away! She was disappointed too, but confirmed that what she observed is the same as my photos. 



17 comments:

  1. Fantastic pictures Andrea. The Plumbago Blue is beautifully marked. You did so well to find the eggs and pupa.
    I have similar spots that I visit in various places. One on our regular holidays to Spain, several around the county here and others at our house in the Scottish Borders.

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    1. When the dry season is already here, i already observe the very less presence in my declared "sanctuary". The tigers and crows are plenty there, now i only saw maybe 4 tigers and 1 crow. As a consolation i found 3 big colorful moths, which i found for the first time.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this post. I really learned a lot and I do love butterflies! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks also Cathy for dropping by and appreciation.

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  3. such beautiful butterflies. Hope you are well soon.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and positive energies too Felicia.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of the butterflies, pupas, and eggs. Sorry it's been so hot all of a sudden for you. 38C/100F is very hot--we rarely get that hot here. I hope you will get your air conditioner back soon, and that you will feel much better!

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    1. Thank you so much Beth, imagine at these conditions our weather bureau's criteria for us already being in the dry seasons is not satisfied yet! OMG our Heat Index is already at 39°C! And my cough is not yet going.

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  5. Replies
    1. hahaha i love the way you termed it, obsession! I guess it has become one.

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  6. It is a special treat to see the pupa! Such a miracle of transformation! I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Thanks Angie. It is really a treat however i forgot to bring it to the city with me, so i didn't see the actual metamorphosis.

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  7. So pretty - I always love your tropical vegetation. I can't imagine your temperatures this time of year - we were -11°C last night!

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    1. OMG, -11°C will kill me because we are used to these unusual temps. Today the Heat Index outside is 39°C, can't even go to the other side of the street. Thanks to airconditioners.

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  8. I too always learn from you Andrea...I hope you are feeling better. The flu here in the US has killed many and sadly children....Michelle

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    1. OMG, imagine the flu can still kill children in the US!!! That is incredible, because supposedly you are better equipped and advanced in most aspects of life. Yes Michelle, it is sad that microorganisms are more clever than us humans. Take care.

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  9. a very beautiful butterfly and gorgeous photos. Love your post!

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