One day, we went on a lookout for a cute little lime caterpillar….
As always, J is the one who first spotted the lime caterpillars and grasshoppers living on a lone lime. On closer look, this lime tree is beaming with life – it is a natural habitat for caterpillars, grasshoppers and ants. I can nearly see the whole life cycle of the lime caterpillar on this tree.
I spotted this little yellow egg on a leaf that belongs to the lime butterfly.
“Hello little spiky lime caterpillar, you are the only one we see here on this lime tree and we are going to bring you home to save you from your predators.”
J captured this ugly-looking caterpillar, which was already in its 4th instar, and put it in one of the container we bought from Daiso.
After the third day in its new home, the 4th instar caterpillar started to outgrow its skin, shed and changed into a new green outfit that looks much friendlier than its previous outfit.
“Wow! You can really eat. Your daily activities revolves around eating, resting and poo-poo. No wonder you grow so fast even within a day!“
After one week in the container, the 5th instar caterpillar found a location in the container and settled down. It started to ooz silk thread and kept still. Pupation takes one day.
The next morning, the caterpillar is transformed into a chrysalis (generally refers to as a pupa) and all wrapped up in a green coating. I found out that the chrysalis comes in two colour forms – green and dark brown.
9 days after the chrysalis was formed, we were able to see the color of the wings in shades of black and white through its almost transparent shell.
The next day morning, the chrysalis broke and we saw a beautiful lime butterfly flapping its wings inside the container. We opened the container to have a better look and it flew a short distance and rested on our indoor plant as it wings were still damp. We could not wait for it to dry its wings as we have a eco-farm trip to go and we left it at home.
When we returned home a few hours later, the butterfly was still in our house, probably waiting to say goodbye to us. I managed to get a close-up shot and a video of the butterfly resting on J’s hand.
After Dot said, “Bye bye butterfly, see you next time…”, it flew away. What is left behind was its empty shell, which is still dripping some kind of fluid.
It is exciting as a family to be able to witness the life of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly up close and personal.
Books we read
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is one of Dot’s favourite book. We read to her when she was about one year old and she wanted us to read to her every night when she was younger. However, butterflies DO NOT form cocoons even if Eric Carle says so!
“My, Oh My–A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies” is a new book to her library. It has many interesting facts about caterpillar and butterfly.
“The Big Bug Book” is the book I read to supplement my understanding about caterpillars and butterflies.
A caterpillar craft Dot and I did together. It was meant to be an art play for her and it became a little toy which she called ‘caterpillar train’. Read more here.
A mom shared that she did a caterpillar bento box for his son. That’s creative way of presenting sushi to make it interesting for the young children to have their meal.
Read more about butterflies in Singapore
In nature world, the butterflies go through a life cycle known as Complete Metamorphosis. The stages of their life cycle include egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), and butterfly (adult).
Metamorphosis is about change. It is not superficial change but a total transformation from within where the most critical journey and toughest journey takes place.
Like a caterpillar that goes through various moulting, we can go through moulting – not physically but spiritually.
Transformation is more than trying to be good, acquiring knowledge and skills and trying be more efficient. It is about exchanging our values for God’s values. The removal of the heart of stone and replace by a heart of flesh. A divine exchange.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Note: The images are not shown to scale.