Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Skin deep

The elephants are still going, all 28 of them. Colour and size variation even more marked today as several have undergone another instar change and the rest are just about to. Of those that have changed, there are c50% that are really quite dark like these ...


and the others are a really smart olive green like this one ...




Of those that are still to change, most are a pinky brown colour and there are three that are still the bright green; I'm guessing these will all turn to the dark brown & olive green versions but I'll find out in a day or two.

One of the drawbacks of keeping several larvae together is that they grow at slightly different rates, and so occasionally you have to disturb them at the risky time when they are just about to shed their skins. That's exactly what has happened today, though I'm sure they'll all be okay as I was careful during a complete foodplant change and cleanout.

This one has clearly not long shed its skin; you can see the shrivelled up old skin behind it and, if you look carefully, you can see the old head-plate to the side. Note the lighter head colouration between this one and the one above, this one will darken as it hardens off.


Some are looking like this, clearly about ready to go through the change .....


And a first for me, one was literally in the middle of wriggling free of the old skin. Note the '12 legs' in the top shot, and look how pale the head is when just 'exfoliated'!


1 comment:

Matt said...

Brilliant post Mark.............