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Mysterious Caterpillar with dirty toilet habits

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Mysterious Caterpillar with dirty toilet habits

Postby kctsang » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:06 pm

This caterpillar was found feeding on an ornamental plant, Episcia Cupreata 'Acajou' in a terraced house in the area of Sembawang. Apparently, a number of such cats had invaded the plant and consumed its leaves voraciously. We retrieved this one remaining caterpillar on 4 Feb. It was only about 1.5cm in length at that time, and it had a stripy body with a black band nearer its head. (pix attached)

However, as the caterpillar continued to grow its stripes disappeared and there are now faint orangey spots running intermittently along both sides of its body. Now, the body looks very black with a tinge of deep red in parts. There are also 2 fairly prominent yellowish spots closer to its head. As of today, 12 Feb ( 9 days later), it has reached the size of about 4.5cm. It is still eating the Episcia leaves. It is a messy cat as its shit is of semi-solid state. (pixs attached - full body and one of the head area)

We can't seem to find any pixs of butterfly cats which looks like the cat we have. Has any one any idea if this is to develop into a butterfly or moth? If so, which family/species?

Thanks

Amy Tsang

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kctsang
 

Re: Mysterious Caterpillar with dirty toilet habits

Postby Fujis2 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:01 pm

I guess is a moth caterpillar. The host plant is not the recorded host plant for local butterflies (at least for now) ;)
SC
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Re: Mysterious Caterpillar with dirty toilet habits

Postby kctsang » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:20 pm

Fujis2 wrote:I guess is a moth caterpillar. The host plant is not the recorded host plant for local butterflies (at least for now) ;)



Hi SC,
Thanks for your reply. We also suspect it may be a moth as it likes to hide under the leaves all the time whilst feeding. We had given it a stick in readiness of its pupation, but the cat showed no interest whatsoever in the stick. Today, it does not seem to be eating anymore and stayed put on one leaf, and the most surprising thing is it has shrunk in size to about 2.5 + cm. We hope it is pupating as such. Will keep watch and feedback if there are positive developments.
Cheers,
AmyTsang
kctsang
 

Re: Mysterious Caterpillar with dirty toilet habits

Postby green baron » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:13 am

KC,
You have Episcia Acajou ? This is a lovely Epsicia.

This is a moth cat. I have reared it but can't remember if I managed to complete the full life cycle. Have to dig into my archive.
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Re: Mysterious Caterpillar with dirty toilet habits

Postby Laurence Leong » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:32 am

Gan
You certainly did not metamorphose into a moth, otherwise you would have been flying around in the moon light! :yeh:
Laurence
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