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Archive for December, 2007

Caterpiller Chyisalis

By J11

This morning I saw a caterpillar on our swan plant starting to make his chrysalis. I thought that he would finish it in the night. But I just thought about it a few moments ago and went to see how much he had done and to my surprise he had finished it. The chrysalis is a lot more light and green than the other one that was done this morning.

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We found a moth on the curtain in the dining room and we wondered what it was. So we checked in Andrew Crowe’s “Which New Zealand Insect?” book. This is what he said:

 Northern Wattle Moth

From Australia. Common as far south as Nelson, February to April. Attracted to lights. The caterpillars eat the leaves of wattle trees. Known to early Maori who found the odd moth blown in from Australia beforethe first wattle trees were planted here, hence the Maori names: pepe kehue, pepe atua, para kori taua, all of which refer to the belief  that these mysterious moths were the returning spirits of ancestors. (A similar belief about noctuid moths is found in Madagascar.) Also known as owl, moon or peacoock moth from the ‘eye’ pattern on the wings, shining like a new moon or like the tail feathers of a peacoock.

Dasypodia species

I tried taking a photo, but they all turned out blurry. Better luck next time!

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