12 February, 2016

Golden Caterpillar

Not only is the construction project nearing the end, but Wednesday morning, Carlos, our caretaker, struck gold. He found this golden caterpillar in the garden near our parking palapa. The photo really doesn't do it justice. It is a very bright and shiny gold in color. I have no idea right now what kind it is.
Gold Caterpillar
I've sent off a couple of pictures to the What's That Bug? (http://www.whatsthatbug.com) website, but, as yet, haven't received an answer.
Here's a copy of the message I sent to What's That Bug?. 
On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Winjama wrote: 
Subject: Golden caterpillar 
Location: Corozal Belize February 10, 2016 10:21 am 
Hi Bugman, 
We found another caterpillar. This time, it one about an inch and a quarter long and about a quarter inch wide. But what is really cool is its coloration – shiny, bright gold. My photo just doesn't do it justice. I hope you can tell us what kind a caterpillar it is. 
Cheers, 
Signature: Winjama
It's followed by a copy of the response:
From Daniel Marlos, Feb 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM
Dear Winjama,
This was once a caterpillar, but now it is a chrysalis of a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae.  We have not had any luck finding any matching images.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can provide a species name.
This is followed with a copy of Keith Wolfe's response:

On Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 9:32 AM, Keith Wolfe Responded:
Greetings Winjama and Bugman,
This is the very beautiful pupa of the Mexican Fritillary (Euptoieta hegesia) . . .
http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/euptoieta_hegesia_meridiania_immatures.htm
  http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/images/Nymphalidae/Argynnini/Euptoieta_hegesia_meridiana/Euptoieta_hegesia_meridiania_pupa_PANAMA_PANAMA_PROV_San_Jose_01-VII-2011.JPG
. . . a fairly common butterfly in disturbed habitats throughout Belize.
Best wishes,
Keith

He included a beautiful photo of the chrysalis. I wish my photo had captured the shiny gold like this.

So, there you have it. A butterfly chrysalis. Still pretty cool looking. BTW, Daniel is the same bugologist entomologist who helped me with the caterpillar identification a couple of weeks ago.

Big ups to both Daniel and Keith for such knowledgeable and timely help.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful chrysalis.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Wilma,

    Isn't it though? It's so gorgeous, that in real life it looks like very expensive jewellry.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    ReplyDelete

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