Monday, 2 May 2016

Speckled Wood, pupa to butterfly 2016

Life cycle of the Speckled Wood continued.

After finding a suitable place to pupate, a stem of grass, twig etc., the larva will make a cremaster which it attaches itself to by a series of tiny hooks that are attached to it's abdomen. Hanging upside down for the duration of the pupal stage.

Final instar Speckled Wood larva, stayed like this for five days
before it finally started to pupate.  27th November 2015
The first stage of the transition from larva to pupa is to me the most beautiful of all the pupal stages. The pupa is filled with substance like, a transparent liquified  jelly with a hardened membrane/skin outer casing.

The first stage of the Speckled Wood pupa, 1st December 2015
The pupa changed again six days later, which was it's final change until the Spring and will overwinter at this pupal stage.

The Speckled Wood pupa overwintered at this stage, 7th December 2015
In the Spring, normally April [in this case April 20th 2016] the pupa starts to change after about four months of lying dormant over the winter months, as the butterfly within the pupa starts to develop.

 The first pupal change for four months, 20th April 2016
The changes within the pupa are slow to begin with and, five days later the pupa has taken on a totally new appearance.

The Speckled Wood pupa five days later, 25th April 2016
The changes in the appearance of the pupa are now appearing more frequently, nearly daily.  26th April 2016

Speckled Wood pupa's 5th change, [since the 1st December 2015] 26th April 2016
28th April 2016 Two days later, the 4th change of the pupal appearance of the Spring

Took slightly longer for this change, at two days
29th April 2016 The following day it's appearance has changed again as the wing colours/marking become more apparent.

Now its back to one for each pupal change, this being it's 7th pupal change
30th April 2016 Again the next day, the pupa has taken up a slightly different appearance even though there is no change to the wing coloration, the abdomen/body is a slightly darker green

30th April 2016 and just a small change in the Abdomen coloration
1st May 2016 The final day as a pupa and, the final pupal change as the butterfly becomes fully developed within the pupa.

The 9th and final pupal change
And finally, four days short of eight months, [from the day the ovum was laid to the butterfly emerging] a female Speckled Wood emerges into the world.

A beautiful female Speckled Wood butterfly successfully
making the long journey into adulthood, 2nd May 2016
And what a stunner she is, as she completes the task of drying out before flying away......

No comments:

Post a Comment