Sunday, August 30, 2009

Livestock Update

It has been awhile since I reported in in our livestock.
On the 18th of August they began to pupate. This means they turned into their chyrsalis.
We have 9 hanging beautiful green and golden transformation chambers.
To watch the development of these helps you believe anything is possible.
When those caterpillars spilt their skins, it is so amazing.
They really want to go on to their next stage of being. I love the grainy look of this photo taken through screen.

 Look at the gold !
Each day it gets more prominent and shiner.
 They say there is no known reason or need for these gold spots.
I went looking to see the hypothesis out there

Fred Urquhart first studied the gold spots on monarchs in the 1970s. He felt that the spots were involved in the distribution or formation wing scale coloration. However, the experiments that he did involved cauterizing the gold spots on the pupa, and it is possible that this process may have damaged the underlying tissue and affected the color patterns. Interestingly, all danaine butterflies (monarchs and their relatives) have metallic spots on them. A group of researchers in Germany did a careful study of the properties of these spots. They are not metallic, but the cells reflect light like metals do, giving them the appearance of being metallic. Other danaids have silver, copper, or gold spots.
Here are some hypotheses for the reasons that these butterflies have metallic-looking spots on their pupae:
a) camouflage – they could reflect colors of the surroundings and break up the shape of the pupa; they might also look like dew droplets.
b) Warning coloration
c) Filtering particular wavelengths of light which might be harmful to the monarchs
d) They might not have any function, but just be the result of something else in the cuticle of the insect.

I must be in a researching mood ! lol

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