Caterpillar isn’t pretty, butterfly is

The Praying Mantis’s eggs don’t look great, neither does the caterpillar which turns into a butterfly. But we cannot ignore them, can we?

We are taught, from childhood, to abhor and fear “creepy-crawlies”… those life-forms which we see under stones, on walls, or even on our vegetables! But it can be a revelation that these creatures, which we regard with fear and loathing, and usually kill at the first opportunity, can sometimes be on their way to becoming very beautiful beings!

Take a look at this fat green caterpillar, for instance.

Common Lime: Green Caterpillar. Pic: Deepa Mohan

This may look gross and fat. It is fat, because it is, right now, a larva. It is eating enough to last it through the next stage in its development, as a pupa. And what emerges from the pupa is the beautiful Common Lime butterfly.

Other creatures of gossamer and air are the Dragonflies. Here is a female Ground Skimmer.

Female Ground Skimmer: Dragonfly. Pic: Deepa Mohan

A “Pied Paddyfield Skimmer” is another common Dragonfly, in the (obviously!) paddyfields, but also in our gardens in the city:

Pied Paddyfield Skimmer: Dragonfly. Pic: Deepa Mohan

One also often comes across beautifully-made egg-sacs, called Ootheca; these are stuck on reeds and blades of grass, and will give rise to life later. Here’s the Ootheca of several Praying Mantises:

Ootheca. Pic: Deepa Mohan

And here is a Praying Mantis in its grown form!

Praying Mantis. Pic: Deepa Mohan

So, do look carefully at the leaves and grass in your gardens or on trees. You may be looking at different forms of one creature, in nature.


  1. Deepa Mohan says:

    I happen to think that all the forms look very beautiful :))))

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