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Right now, I'm being more quiet about technical things because we are in the home stretch of a release cycle.  Consequently, I'm a little more worried about the problems in front of me than the bigger picture of software development and programming.

Yet time marches forward and no single thing is immune to the changes wrought by its passage.

Nibbler hung him/herself up in preparation for pupation.  This is freaky because in the span of a day, Nibbler went from bright green to yellow:

There was no skin shedding in this process, just coloration changes.  I was also surprised at Nibbler's choice of using a leaf instead of a twig.  Twigs tend to be much more durable.  I had to cut the leaf apart and tape it down to the container to make sure the butterfly will be able to emerge and prep its wings properly.  In most swallowtails, the caterpillar sets itself of like a worker on a telephone pole.  Its hind quarters are anchored with some silk and a silk cable runs around its body below the thorax to hold it upright.

About two days later, Nibbler looked like this:

Now Nibbler is back to green and looks very much like a curled leaf.  I don't know where the heck those horns came from.  Insects are freaky - don't let anyone tell you any differently.

On a side note, and more about entomology than you ever wanted to know: Spicebush swallowtails (like many species of butterfly) are sexually dimorphic, which is a fancy way of saying that the two genders are very different looking.  The females have metallic blue swatches on the hindwings and the males have flat minty green swatches.
Published Friday, July 21, 2006 10:27 AM by Steve Hawley


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