Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum

I had a rare day off to myself yesterday when I try to do things that OH wouldn't necessarily enjoy. Top of the list was visiting the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the NHM which has become a bit of an annual pilgrimage for me (see 2014 and 2013 for previous trips. Last year I went in May so it was good to go at a slightly different time of year as there were some species that weren't there last year. Anyway here is what I saw:

This is a detail of the outside of the blue butterfly below wing

It was great to see caterpillars as well as butterflies

I think I've finally started to crack the wings in flight picture!

As you can see there were so many different wonderful varieties.

One of the most fascinating part of this exhibition is watching the pupae hatch. This little beauty has just emerged and is waiting for the wings to fully inflate.

Feeding time on fruit
Now this caterpillar was huge. About twice the size of my finger!
Can you see it on the leaves in the vase - I thought having people in the shot may give you some context.
Anyway they emerge to become one of these. Sad story though - once they turn into a butterfly they can't eat as they have no mouth! So they only last a week, enough time to mate and lay eggs before they die of starvation. One of the most tragic stories I've heard for a long time!

There were quite a few eggs out and about so the cycle just keeps going!

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