Saturday, 28 November 2015

Magical Metamorphosis (part 1)

In late summer I noticed a Green-veined White (Pieris napi) laying her ova on a garlic mustard plant in my garden. I monitored the progress of the resulting larvae and on 18th October I located a larva preparing to pupate.

The larva has attached itself in an upright position by a silk girdle.

Two days later the larval skin splits open behind the head.

The skin is shed downwards as the pupa emerges.

The pupal wing cases are exposed.

The moult is completed in a few minutes....

....and the moulted skin is jettisoned.

 Three hours later the pupal membrane has hardened.

After two days the pupa has adopted its final colouring.

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