So I took a bunch of pictures...left the room for no more than 30 seconds and when I returned another one had hatched!! DRATS! I missed it! My first thought was ‘I have to take as many pictures to document this!” My dear husband who puts up with my whims had left for a 5 day business trip and he was missing it too!
The next thing I noticed was things were all RED!! It looks like blood however it’s called meconium, made up of the leftover coloring & tissues from the butterfly’s formation. It’s kinda startling though when you see actually puddles on the floor and drips down the side of the habitat. Looked like there'd been a massacre!!
Each time I finally dragged myself away to go do something I’d come back to another hatchling. I was pleasantly surprised that the one that had fallen had also emerged!! After doing so, they rested in a vertical position while pumping their wings to fullsize. The butterflies do this by forcing blood under pressure into the veins on the wings. It would take an hour or two after emergence for the wings to be full-sized & hardened and ready to fly. So I figured I had a couple hours to get some things done around the house before I could get pictures of the top part of their new wings.
I still had my concerns over my ‘slow learner’...you know that one that was vertically challenged? See him in the middle? It took an extra couple hours for him but he too hatched much to my relief.
I didn’t know how hungry they’d be or even how soon they’d eat so I fixed them dinner. I didn’t have any carnations or mums so I had to improvise. An alternative is to take two inch squares of paper towel or facial tissue saturated in a mixture of 3 tsp sugar to 1 cup water & placed on a paper plate on the floor of the habitat. (Do this once each day & refrigerate sugar water between uses) No sooner had I done that but someone came to eat. That was pretty fun to see. I got to see him unfurl his proboscis, drink the sugar water then roll the proboscis back up. The booklet I have says they actually taste with their feet their feet so I’m thinking they taste with their feet but eat with their proboscis?
I was anxious to see what they’d look like too. Even their underside was beautiful but so different than what it was on the top of their wings. With the light shining through their habitat I thought they looked like stained glass.
So I’m thinking are these male or female? Can you tell? I dunno maybe they're unisex? And I'm wondering now how quickly can they lay eggs? I’m told they can lay up to 500 eggs!! Geesh, if that happens is the habitat big enough? lol