Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Meet Caty Kim II, our pet pupae to butterfly. We found Cathy Kim on the underside of a wild lime tree in my vegetable plot. The wild limes, also called " limau perut," have very fragrant leaves that are commonly used as spices in curries. Obviously, the caterpillars must find them quite delicious too as they can destroy a small tree as they nibble the leaves voraciously. We transferred the pupae to a plastic container as we did not want it to be pecked by the birds. Punched some holes in the cover and left it quietly in the kitchen. Not so quietly as MartianGirl kept peering and moving the container hoping to see the butterfly emerge. What is it with teenagers that they do not listen and have absolutely no patience? After about 2 weeks, it completed its metamorphosis. I got up one morning and found the butterfly waiting patiently for me to throw open the kitchen windows.

This is the second time we have kept a pet grub. Cathy Kim I was a bright apple green caterpillar when we found it. I picked lime leaves and put them into the container everyday. The word "diet" does not exist in a caterpillar's vocabulary - it actually ate so much I had to buy fresh lime leaves from the market as my wild lime tree became bald. I did not know if caterpillars needed water so I sprinkled water inside daily. It was one fat, greedy, nibbling grub that eventually progressed into a brown pupae. It might be that mornings are cooler as I had the opportunity to watch it slowly emerge as I prepared breakfast. It took a long, long time and I was so tempted to help it along as the wings struggled to unfold from the small cramped pupae. But, I controlled my fidgeting hands as helping it would have only damaged it's wings. The whole process from caterpillar to butterfly was pretty educational for MartianGirl, a city slicker who onced called a goat a dog.


  1. How interesting. I would never have thought to go through the process of rearing a butterfly.