The Story of the Plain Tiger butterfly

posted in: Butterflies and Moths, Videography | 0
Plain Tiger feeding on Bougainvillea flowers (Image by YC Wee).

The Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) is often seen in parks and gardens where its caterpillar food plants are commonly grown. With its rich fulvous orange forewings and broad black apical border bearing a series of white spots, it is a beauty to behold.

The butterfly lays its eggs on the under surface of its host plant. The eggs take 3 days to hatch into caterpillars. These caterpillars feed voraciously on the leaves where the eggs were deposited for a number of days before the old skin becomes too tight as the body grows in size.

Plain Tiger caterpillars (Image by Roy Lim)

As the body increases in size, the old skin splits open and the caterpillar with its new skin emerges. This moulting occurs 5 times before the caterpillar is ready to change into a pupa. Inside the pupa the caterpillar undergoes major changes and within 6 days its outer skin splits open to allow the butterfly to emerge,

Roy Lim had his children in mind when he decided to look into the life cycle of the Plain Tiger.

“Having children forces you to stop and smell the flowers…
And check for bugs…
And get a container for said bug. 

And feed the bug.

And check for progress daily. 

And document it.
Make sure you use that time lapse app.

And release it at the right time.
And make sure you feed it if you are waiting for the right time.
Admittedly it’s fun…and I’d just be sitting around swiping otherwise, anyway…”

Roy Lim
9th March 2018

For more on the Plain Tiger, visit these sites:
1. Death of a Plain Tiger LINK
2. The Plain Tiger emerging from the pupa (caught on video) LINK.

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