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Red Pierrot - Lifecycle



Fresh specimen of Red Pierrot

A tiny and unmistakable butterfly with very weak flight. Its with black and white body except for the lower portion on hind wings are red. Its very common around its host plant - Bryophyllum calycinum, a useful medicinal plant. In the medical garden behind hostel-3, plenty of Bryophyllum is planted.Plant grows few feet and remains green through out the year. Butterfly is mostly seen nectoring on the small flowers and favorite one is Amaranth ( मख़मल).  

Caterpillar inside leaf, black sphere like is excreta
Mating pair, sexes are alike 
The female lays egg underside of the leaf and one at a time. After hatching, caterpillar bores into the leaf. As leaves of the bryophyllum are thick enough to host it, caterpillar can remain inside the leaf till pupation.  When eatable part of the leaf is finished, caterpillar shift to some other. Caterpillar of these species is easiest find, although hidden inside the leaf. When it bores in between the two epidermal layers of leaf, it fills it with its excreta. Searching for the black pouches filled with excreta may lead tot the caterpillar. Caterpillar is flat as it leaves inside the leaf. Its light yellow in color with white hairs on the body.Caterpillar comes out of the leaf at tht time of pupation. Normally pupa is approx 10 mm long and is formed on or under the leaf. Key characteristic is the numerous black dots  all over the pupa. In field, UN wing photograph of red pierrot while nectoring can easily be shot. Getting UP wing shot, with full open wings is very difficult. It is observed that this species open their wings completely in the afternoon, which is the right time to get UP shot. 

Quick Facts:
Botanical Name: Talicada nyseus
Wing span: 30-35 mm
Key ID: Black and white body with orange fill on tail side.
Habits: Weak flyer, common around host plant.

 
Egg laying Red Pierrot


Red Pierrot nectoring on Amaranthus

Stages in Red Pierrot Life Cycle
Pulpit rockPulpit rock
Pulpit rockPulpit rock

Bryophillum buds

Bryophillum plant, LHP of red 
Pierrot


8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Indrani. It is an interesting subject !

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  2. Beautiful! I love butterfly. Great video!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Roger. Even I was unawre till I visited one of the farm. However such farms are rare in India.

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  4. Such a beautiful butterfly. Even it's body is white and black!

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    Replies
    1. Rightly said, its tiny yet striking and beautiful :-) Welcome the blog and thnx.

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