Saturday, November 14, 2009


Four fat caterpillars on my Desert Rose (Adenium obsesun). I have three pots of the plant and the caterpillars had invaded all, muching on the leaves. Rather then killing them, we decided to rear them as we have done twice before. Altogether, MartianGirl collected 10 Kathy Kims. We put them into plastic containers away from the plants as they were eating far too much and the plants were getting bald. They were running out of food. We tried giving other types of leaves but they would not eat. Instead, we asked for food donations from the neighbours as the Desert rose is a beautiful plant common in many homes.
Ali Baba doing the "cat" (erpillar) walk.
MartianGirl fed them as much as possible and cleaned their homes before school and in the evenings. She gave every one a name and took very good care of them.
Smokey BBQ is her favourite and must be the prettiest with lovely blue spots. They have a pair of eye spots in the front which makes them look quite scarry and prevents predators from eating them.
As they go through metamorphosis, they all changed from the lovely green with blue and white spots to brown with white spots. Here you have 2 Katy Kims at different stages - young green caterpillar and brown matured caterpillar before it forms a pupa. On the far right, there is a leave with eggs on the underside.
This beautiful creature just before the pupa stage is Hello Yellow
They "poo" a really, really lot and it's all in the form of dried pellets. Thank goodness as it makes house keeping so much easier.
When they turn brown, they stop eating. They stop their "cat" walks and a new hardier layer forms around them.

Momok Jin in the pupa stage. The pupa looks like a bullet with eyes. They are inert from the outside but there is a lot of action going on inside. We left them in a safe corner to continue their life cycle. Every now and then, the pupa will do a bounce or shake a little on its own. Little Boo in the pupa stage. It has been almost 2 weeks and they are still in the pupa stage. We also have Plump Daisy and Bloated Submarine in the pupa stages.

We left the plastic covers opened so they can morp into moths and fly away without damaging their wings. Butterflies form chrysalis so I think ours will be moths. One morning, only some remaining pupa bits were left behind, they had morph some time when we we sleeping. Our garden seems to attract many butterflies and now moths to breed so I guess it won't be too long before we another brood of Kathy Kims again.


  1. Wow....that is awesome...I have actually never seen the process...thanks for sharing.

  2. A great post, Kestrel. It was so interesting to be taken through the whole process.