A little while ago I posted pictures of a full-grown Crow butterfly caterpillar and an egg just laid by an adult of the same species. I was lucky enough to follow the development of both of them
The egg was laid on a bud on March 19 and I was concerned about what would happen to it if the bud opened before the egg hatched. I needn’t have worried: mother obviously knew best.
On the 22nd I saw a very tiny caterpillar munching on the soft juicy petals, and I photographed it each day for four days, at which time the remains of the bud fell off the plant and I lost track of the caterpillar. The developmental sequence is very clear: the creamy infant darkens and grows spines although it doesn’t achieve the full orange-black-white colour scheme in those first few days.
Meanwhile, the fullgrown caterpillar was ready to pupate. I only have two photos of the chrysalis because it did not change much. When very new – in the first two or three days after it was made – it was a milky white with faint brownish markings but it soon turned bright silver, the coloration all the reference books mention.