It’s not often—or ever before, to be honest—that I’ve had the chance to photograph several stages in an insect’s life journey in just a week or so, but I think I nailed it recently.
We’ve got some wild senna growing happily in our yard and one day Nadia and I noticed some caterpillars feeding on the flowers. I took some pics and wandered over to my favorite caterpillar identification site and tentatively identified it as a Cloudless Sulfur caterpillar (in a somewhat roundabout way).
Caterpillar of the Cloudless Sulfur (Phoebis sennae)
Not many days later, we noticed a very busy yellowish butterfly flitting around the plants, pausing very briefly, then moving on, over and over. I manage to get a quick snapshot. Having watched this sort of behavior before, I thought “I bet she’s laying eggs.”
Adult Cloudless Sulfur Butterfly Laying Eggs
Sure enough, I marked a spot where the little lady had just paused and went over for a closer look. Guess what?
Freshly deposited egg of a Cloudless Sulfur butterfly
I later moused over to Bug Guide and checked to see if the butterfly just might match the caterpillars. It did! When I realized that we had just seen one of our yard citizens go from egg to adult almost in front of our eyes, it almost brought a little tear to mine. They just grow up so fast….sniff.
Nadia? She just thought it was way cool.
Note: If anyone ever notices an incorrect identification in any of these posts, PLEASE let me know! I would really appreciate it!