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Eclosion of a butterfly

Eclosion sequence of the Tailed Jay

Eclosion of a butterfly

Eclosion is first activity of butterfly relates pupa and adult butterfly, two stages of butterfly life cycle. It is emergence of butterfly out of the pupa and very important stage in the life of a butterfly. This is a fast and mind-blowing event to watch. Eclosion can take place any time in the day, from early morning to late night. 

When the transformation of caterpillar inside the pupa is complete, butterfly is ready to see the world. When from outside wings of the butterfly seems to be ready, its ready to come out of pupa. 
Butterfly tears off the pupa shell and comes out. Wet and folded wings are straightened. New-born the finds suitable place where it can sit up-side down and dries the wet wing. A liquid can be seen dropping down when butterfly hangs itself just after eclosion.

Drying of the wing depends on the size of the butterfly and may take up to half an hour. Larger the size longer it takes to dry. 
As the specimen is fresh and unharmed and idly seating, this stage is the best to take the clear, sharp and studio photographs. All the shades of the colors present and the whole body can be perfectly caught on camera. Not all species opens up the wings after eclosion. 

To get best image sequence, camera accessories like macro lens, tripod, remote are helpful. Mount the camera on the tripod and use remote. Eclosion is very fast process, thus using flash can be tricky, specially external. reason being, the external flash requires large recycling time. Yes, using external power supply to flash may solve problem a bit. Simple solution is to use external light source such as simple 200 W electric bulb. Don't forget to set camera in burst mode.

The angle for shooting image sequence must be chosen wisely. Many people have shot eclosion sequence and are available on internet. Study them, note the point of emergence and Accordingly choose your angle. If a leaf or branch is coming in the field, cut it carefully, cutting should not damage pupa.
Below given images are eclosion sequences of Tailed Jay, Red Pierrot and Common gull butterfly I was able to capture on camera.

Eclosion sequence of the Tailed Jay
Eclosion sequence of the Red pierrot
Eclosion sequence of the Common Gull


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