Oh wow has it been a full couple weeks! Here’s a few of the things happening these days!
The butterfly lab is getting overhauled! Walls are getting knocked down, cement’s getting mixed on the floor, cinder blocks laid… while I stand in the middle of it all changing out grass for the morpho’s and checking in on mystery caterpillars. It’s a funny sight but I’m excited for the change. We’re taking it from a fully enclosed structure (translated – no breeze, stiflingly humid and dimly lit) to an airier brighter space by converting 2 of the walls to half cement half shade cloth.
MONKEYS, MONKEYS, MONKEYS! The mango trees across the street are drawing in a couple different groups of white face monkeys this week…. and they aren’t exactly willing to share or play nice together. I keep waiting for a man with a British accent to start narrating as I watch them charging at each other, hissing and posturing, guarding the mother with the baby on her back….. you know the usual kind of thing you expect to see on Animal Planet. As soon as I (and when I say I, I mean Josh) get my video editing software fixed I will post some videos as well as more pics.
My two mystery chrysalises I posted last week STILL haven’t emerged. Although another caterpillar pupated and has joined them. I expect all three of them to emerge as some type of swallowtail… IF they ever emerge! 🙁
Meanwhile, a chrysalis I didn’t mention in my posts has emerged! I had hardly given it any attention because when I’d found the caterpillar Josh told me it was probably a zebra longwing. I kept it to observe & photograph but didn’t have the same level of excitement and anticipation I get when I don’t have any idea what they are. Turns out I should have been more excited! Not only did it give me much more instant gratification – emerging from its chrysalis within a week of having formed – but it’s not a zebra longwing! It is a Heliconius erato also known as the red postman, which we raised on our Bat-winged passionflower vine Passiflora coriacea.