Nanjing citizen’s year-long photography of Chinese luehdorfia
2018-03-12 16:05:00

Wu Jiamin from the Butterfly Protection Association stumbled on the egg of the “national treasure” Chinese luedorfia at Laoshan Scenic Spot in Nanjing on March 20 last year, then took a year’s time to record the entire growth stages of the Chinese luehdorfia with his camera.

The eggs of Chinese luehdorfia [Photo/Wu Jiamin]

The butterfly’s egg, as the first life stage, measures less than 1 millimeter, and looks transparent in fluorescent green under the sunlight.

The first stage of larva [Photo/Wu Jiamin]

A larva pipped out of the egg on April 20, 2017, and then molted five times until it became amature larva.

The mature larva [Photo/Wu Jiamin]

On May 20, the mature larva molted for the last time and became a pupa contigua, which looked dead from the outside during the pupal stage but actually experienced dramatic changes inside.

A pupa contigua of Chinese luehdorfia [Photo/Wu Jiamin]

According to Wu’s observation, the Chinese luehdorfia remained in the pupal stage for about 300 days.

A mature Chinese luehdorfia [Photo/Wu Jiamin]

On March 11, the insect was mature enough inside the pupa case and crept off as a butterfly, a process called eclosion.

The Chinese luehdorfia is a wild butterfly species and a species under second-degree national protection. Named a “national treasure” by entomologists, it is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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