Caterpillar ID?

28 Oct 2014 20:37 - 29 Oct 2014 05:54 #2413 by mistifarang
mistifarang created the topic: Caterpillar ID?
Can somebody push me in the right direction with an ID of this Caterpillar please? Is this a Nymphalid (?) brushfoot caterpilar?

Location: suburbs Bangkok


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29 Oct 2014 12:05 - 29 Oct 2014 12:08 #2427 by Painted Jezebel
Painted Jezebel replied the topic: Caterpillar ID?
This is the larva of Ariadne ariadne pallidor (Angled Castor) - Nymphalidae/Biblidinae. I suspect you found it on Ricinus communis, its most common hostplant, which is poisonous. (Used to make the deadly chemical warfare agent, Ricin which was the substance used in the Japanese subway attack some years ago.).
The following user(s) said Thank You: Paul TW

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29 Oct 2014 13:24 #2432 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Caterpillar ID?
Interesting story, Les!
I'm reading a bit about this Castor Oil Plant. But according to wiki (yes I know we should not always believe everything on there) this plant is not native to this region.
It made me wonder if this butterfly has been introduced (accidently?) with the introduction of these plants by people, or if it is a local species that used to feed on other host plants but has changed diet. Any ideas?

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29 Oct 2014 13:40 #2434 by Painted Jezebel
Painted Jezebel replied the topic: Caterpillar ID?
I was not aware that the plant was not native. However, it belongs to the Euphorbaceae family, many of which are native. I suspect that it may have switched its main hostplant as Ricinus communis spread. Some species of Ariadne do also use other species of this plant family. The butterfly is not an introduction, the Genus can only be found from India to China and SE Asia, as far as I can find out.

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29 Oct 2014 14:36 #2435 by mistifarang
mistifarang replied the topic: Caterpillar ID?
Spot on Les! But I found it on the LUFFA, BUAP บวบ: www.antoniuniphotography.com/p464719348

I see the CASTOR OIL PLANT, Ricinus communis however also quit a lot here onflipflops www.antoniuniphotography.com/p2661620

Thanks a lot!

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29 Oct 2014 18:53 #2439 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Caterpillar ID?
I'm no expert on plants nor insects. Your story about the plant's toxicity got me interested. Don't worry I'm not going to use it, ;), but I love unusual facts about plants or animals. Then I read about the plants range and made me wonder who came first, the butterfly or the plant.
I believe India is mentioned as historical range of the plant. And if the same is true for the butterflies, then it is pretty much solved, haha.

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