Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks

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arks
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by arks »

:clap: :clap: :clap:
Johan, your devotion to this process is WAY above and beyond ...... sounds fascinating but looks very uncomfortable! Looking forward to the outcome of all your efforts! :popcorn:
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg »

This is an abbreviated series of pix that records the little acraea's emergence efforts...

Image Image Image

The first shot represents Zero Hour: It took me some time to set up once I noticed the "action", but I took this hand-held shot just to get the ball rolling. In the next two shots you can see the little acraea has managed to get its right front leg free and it uses that to do push-ups to try and get free from the chrysalis.

At 5:40 hours into the session, something suddenly changes: a red spot appears on the inside of the chrysalis. An final heave and we are left with an empty chrysalis! To my mind this was supposed to be the moment when our little acraea would unfurl gracefully, still holding on to the chrysalis...

Image Image Image

Some bits of the chrysalis remain stuck on the head and thorax of the acraea. It never recovers from that malfunction...

Image

The butterfly aborts...
Last edited by Johan van Rensburg on Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg »

arks wrote::clap: :clap: :clap:
Johan, your devotion to this process is WAY above and beyond ...... sounds fascinating but looks very uncomfortable! Looking forward to the outcome of all your efforts! :popcorn:


The outcome was not the expected one, arks. From this experience I must assume that there is a large percentage of emergences that goes wrong...

Anyhow, I now have another mission to attend to... I am just about to leave for ORT to fetch Bush Baptist and start my next (10-day-long!!) adventure. Maybe I'll get lucky afterward to find a successful acraea emergence to conclude this thread. :pray:
Last edited by Johan van Rensburg on Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by Blydeboer »

Hello JvR

Thank you very much for this informative post. To think what is happening around us everyday in God's Garden is absolutely mind boggling. Being a farmer, seeing eggs means it is time to spray, seeing worms it was already time to spray and seeing butterflies or moths, I missed... But the nature lover in me truly loves this post for the true miracle of life that you show, and to think that every part of the Acreae's life cycle fits perfectly into the greater cycle of life. And we humans are the appointed guardians to protect this perfect balance. Beautiful :clap:
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by arks »

Bon voyage JvR! I'm sure that you and BB and the rest of your Makuleke team will have lots of adventures.

Sad about the aborted "birth" -- especially after all your above and beyond efforts to record it -- but I suppose that that's nature ... and that the ratio of successes to failures keeps a necessary balance. I think your series is valuable in reminding us of that, even if we'd all have preferred a happier ending :(
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

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Still very interesting even if the outcome was not successful, for the butterfly that is!
Enjoy your 10 day adventure!
Take time each day to be with nature
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg »

The next chapter in this story has been fired up! A red-chested cuckoo discovered one of the wild peach trees in my garden with its infestation of Acraea horta caterpillars!

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The munchies are lined up from top to bottom of the tree and the cuckoo barely has to move to get at them! It is very thorough in gleaning caterpillars from the tree, working with chameleon-like stealth and slow movements in one sector before moving on to the next. It is hard on the Acraea, but at the same time it means some respite for the Wild Peach...
Last edited by Johan van Rensburg on Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)

Unread post by Elsa »

The circle of life!
Nice pic of the Cuckoo! 8)
Take time each day to be with nature
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