This little birdwing butterfly caterpillar has just shed his first skin (the little crumpled blob behind him). He may do this 5, 6, or more times. These stages are called 'instars' and are necessary because the skin doesn't grow with the caterpillar.
The birdwing butterfly chrysalis on day 3. Over the next 2 weeks I expect to see it change colour a little bit.
Female Cairns birdwing butterfly on a native Dutchmans pipe vine.
Cairns birdwing butterfly placing her single egg on the underside of a leaf.
The birdwing chrysalis in profile.
The birdwing caterpillars eat the tender young tips of the vine like they were lollies. Their spiky appearance is a bit deceiving because their spines aren't hard, but they do emit a warning odour and a poison through their orange dots. The poison comes from ingesting the poisonous vine.