Birdwing emergence

When they are ready to pupate, Cairns Birdwing caterpillars drop off the Aristolochia vine they had been eating and climb a neighbouring plant. There they find an appropriate twig or leaf, reinforce it with some of their silk, make a sling with more silk, and hang there in their new hard brown skin (which is what the chrysalis is) while they miraculously re-organise inside it (seeĀ this blog post for more details). When the time comes …

cairns birdwing butterfly
Just out – wings still damp and collapsed

cairns birdwing butterfly
Beginning to flex his wings but still far from ready to fly
cairns birdwing butterfly
Nearly fully developed
cairns birdwing butterfly
Out and about, later that day

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