Peacock butterflies

The peacocks in their caterpillar stage.

The peacocks in their caterpillar stage.

A peacock in its pupae.

A peacock in its pupae.

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Recently, we bought twenty new pets, but not what you would expect; peacock butterflies!  They came as caterpillars, black with little spines.  We had to feed them on fresh nettles, and when we opened the box to put fresh ones in, they all reared up, sniffing the air.  We were meant to be having painted lady butterflies, but we would only have got five, instead of twenty.  It took two or three weeks for them to grow big enough to pupate, where they hung up on the ceiling.  At this point, we had to move them into a different cage.  Unfortunately, one of the caterpillars died.  It took about three weeks for them to start emerging into butterflies, but two of the butterflies hadn’t formed properly inside their chrysalises, and one pupa isn’t going to make it, so we think we’ll have got sixteen butterflies.  I think we’ve done really well with fourteen butterflies that have been released into our garden, and we think we’ll have two more if all goes according to plan.