Tag Archives: Calamansi Lime

A Delightful Discovery

13 Sep

It was a typical morning getting ready to leave the house for the office. Sometimes, we would do a quick spot check for caterpillars on the lime tree closest to the car at the front of the house. On this particular morning, we discovered a beauty hiding between the branches!

My my… looking rather alien but not spooked, the moth did not even budged when we took turns to take its picture up close. Later, when we got to the office, hubby googled it up to learn that it was an Oleander Hawk Moth. What a delightul discovery!

This species is rather large, sleek and thrives in warm climates. And it loves to hide within lush green foliage which I don’t think our lime tree is that lush though. But I am not complaining for we had the chance to admire a full grown beautiful moth instead of just caterpillars all the time.

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The Predator

2 Apr

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It was a sad ending for Munch Pots 5.1, 6, 7 and 8 over the weekend. Right after discovering the Calamansi Lime tree having four caterpillars to my delight, they all mysteriously disappeared the next day to my dismay. What a quick turnaround within a day!

Initially, I thought the rain displaced them or even some birds came swooping down on them for food. And I found myself standing in front of the pot, staring intently at the branches looking for caterpillars! It was quite a funny yet sombre scene. And it’s something more sinister that I discovered…

A predator.

One level higher in the vicious food chain, I found this grasshopper lurking amongst the leaves. And it could only mean one thing, feasting on juicy fat caterpillars. Oh my poor Munch Pots…

5.1, 6, 7, 8!

28 Mar
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A day in the life of Munch Pot 5.1

It’s a bittersweet moment as far as the caterpillars are concerned. While Munch Pot 3.1 is clearly no more after so many days with no evidence of metamorphosis or a shrivelled body or pod in sight, Munch Pot 5.1 continues to grow. And to our delight, we found more babies, 6, 7 and 8 to be exact on the Calamansi Lime tree! Hahaha… the poor tree.

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Top: Munch Pots 7 and 8 saying “Hello”! Bottom: Munch Pot 6

I guess there’s a never ending supply of caterpillars on this particular tree to keep me enthralled.

Rescuing My Caterpillar

25 Mar

Of late, caterpillars have become very fascinating to me. It’s so fun checking on them every morning and evening, and taking pictures of them. Honestly, I like it when all the leaves on the Calamansi Lime tree gets gnawed on and even hubby doesn’t mind this.

Munch Pot 5.0 before it evolved

Munch Pot 3.1 doing a vertical stand

3.1 up close

The munch pots are growing and happy. Munch Pot 3.1 have grown beautifully and even 5.0 have evolved. So now, it’s 5.1.

What a cutie 3.1

5.1 on Friday night, having evolved

But on Saturday morning, a slight mishap occurred and we couldn’t find 3.1. Oh no, it’s gone! Lunch for the birds? I couldn’t accept this so we looked and looked. And lo and behold, it actually fell off the tree onto the ground. Oh dear…

Poor 3.1. I wonder if it’s traumatized?

5.1 looking good

Looking disheveled but hopefully not traumatized, hubby picked it up with a bamboo stick to place it back on the branches. I thought our little deed was whimsical, rescuing a caterpillar that some people consider a pest. I hope 3.1 will be okay and evolve to its next stage. It was still okay on Saturday afternoon when I checked on it again.

Unfortunately after that, the last two days as we stood in front of the Calamansi Lime tree to scrutinize every branch looking for it, we cannot find Munch Pot 3.1. Sniffle…

Munch Pots, Part 2

21 Mar
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Munch Pot 3.0 in the morning

Munch Pot 3.0 has evolved and is now 3.1! What a beauty I must say. Within a day, in the morning, it was still its old self; then that evening when I got home and checked on it, it has morphed into a glorious green caterpillar. And to my delight, we found another caterpillar on the same tree, 5.0.

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Munch Pot 3.1 in the evening

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Eat ’em and poop

But sadly, I cannot locate Munch Pot 4.0 on the other tree.

Now 3.1 and 5.0 have grown very fast, being munch pots that they are. And when they eat so much, they poop just as much too, as evidenced by this morning’s photographs.

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Munch Pot 5.0

Munch Pots

18 Mar

This caterpillar business is so hard to keep track! Last Friday, Munch Pot 2.1 could not be found at its usual spot on the branch of the Calamansi Lime tree. I suspect the final same fate as Munch Pot 1.0 has befallen 2.1. We couldn’t find any cocoon on the tree.

Either a bird came down and had it for lunch or it could have fallen off the branch because the pelting rain was too strong for it to hold on tight. I am disappointed. Munch Pot 2.1 is no more. Sigh…

But while we were searching for it, we found a new baby. Munch Pot 3.0 I guess. The tiny hairy fella measured at only 1cm and have grown since then. It’s funny, people take care of plants and here I am ‘taking’ care of caterpillars. On top of 3.0, I found another one, 4.0 at another Calamansi tree. This one’s a wee bit bigger.

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Meet Munch Pot 3.0

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Munch Pot 3.0 have grown since the first sighting

 

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Munch Pot 4.0

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Up close and personal with Munch Pot 4.0 the munching machine

Let’s hope both 3.0 and 4.0 live longer than the others.

New Pet?

21 Feb

I seem to have a new ‘pet’! It’s a caterpillar.

The inch long critter currently resides in the potted Calamansi Lime tree flanking the left side to the entrance of the house. Hubby discovered it three days ago as it was gnawing on a leaf. For all we know, it could have been there already given its size and stage of being a caterpillar.

Cute little fella. I should give it a name since I intend to keep it as a pet and chart its growth. Hmm…

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And because I now have a new pet to monitor, I did some research on the internet about caterpillars and found some rather interesting facts.

Apparently, moths can remember their caterpillar days, remembering things they learnt when they were at this stage even after the process of metamorphosis turning their brains and bodies to soup! How smart. So, will my caterpillar turn into a moth or butterfly, smart as it is?

The word ‘caterpillar’ refers to the larval stage of butterflies and moths. The last three days, I cannot see its antennae properly – a tell tale characteristic to know the difference, only time can tell. A butterfly’s antennae are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end whereas a moth’s are feathery or saw-edged.

Left hanging on this, I did some further research and by now, am convinced that my caterpillar belongs to the Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus malayanus) species. Lime Butterflies tend to favor citrus plants like the Calamansi Lime, so it makes sense finding a Lime Caterpillar amongst the leaves.

We bid our time for the next stage of its transformation.

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Munching away on the leaves