It’s that time of year again – too many family, social and work obligations, not enough sleep and the sun coming up early.
This is just a quick post and a reminder of what can happen if you keep your eyes open.
Even if I had only found the egg, I would probably have guessed that the parent was a Chinese peacock – as in the swallowtail butterfly, not the bird! Chinese peacocks (Papilio bianor) are large butterflies with mostly black or extremely dark wings, leading to its Japanese name of karasuageha (烏揚羽), literally “crow swallowtail”. We occasionally spot them flying around our mandarin tree, and sometimes see their larvae. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a pupa – I suspect the larvae have fallen prey to various spiders and wasps.
In this case, I saw the butterfly land on the leaf for a few seconds and deposit a single egg.
I pointed this out to a certain little boy, who wanted to collect the egg to observe it. I guess we’ll let it hatch and return the larva to the tree. Hopefully, we’ll get to see a complete life-cycle in our garden some time.