In a blog on November 22, I described how an Imperial Hairstreak butterfly laid a clutch of eggs in a slit in the bark of a Black Wattle bush. I collected a couple of those eggs and promised to give you an update on their further development.
Well, on December 4 I was lucky enough to witness the hatching of one of those eggs - 12 days after it was laid.
I made a time-lapse movie of the caterpillar creating its escape hatch. The frames of the movie are separated by 30 seconds. The caterpillar has already made a small hole in the top of its egg case (chorion) at the start. It rotates its head in a circle as it bites off another chunk of the chorion to enlarge the hole.
This next movie, taken in real time, shows the caterpillar escaping from its embryonic home. We've moved this guy to the "buddy tank", so can follow the never-ending wheel of development!