Thursday, September 9

M ... moth. M ... mmda.

of moths and the mmda...

the mmda has planted several ficus benjamina saplings along the length of commonwealth avenue and elsewhere in the metro in an effort, i suppose, to green the city.  i don't really know why they chose this particular plant (fast growing? none destructive? pollution tolerant?) but i'm glad they chose ficus, the birds love the fruit.  and adri & i discovered another creature which loves the plant.

the mmda has lined many of the metro's main roads with ficus benjamina. here's one on busy commonwealth ave.

one day, after i dropped off adri at commonwealth i received a text message from him describing how one of the ficus plants was covered with white caterpillars.  during the weekend, i got the chance to see the cats myself and to take photos.  we parked at the shell station beside the INK hospital and inspected the bush, right there on the sidewalk of commonwealth avenue.  i suppose the pedestrians and the hospital guard found our behaviour a bit strange. after our "it-turned-out-to-be-a-sphinx-moth-caterpillar-eating-the-rosal-bush" incident, we figured out that these tiny caterpillars eating up the ficus were moth caterpillars, and their little horned backs indicated they were probably some sort of sphinx moth. not wanting to agitate my mother by bringing home a slew of caterpillars (again), we decided to just wait and see.  we hoped that they would not require burying underground in their pupal stage... there was a bit of exposed ground where the ficus was planted, but it didn't seem very hospitable right there on the sidewalk.

several plain looking "horned" caterpillars:  a very recent expereince tells me these will become moths!

anyway, a couple of weeks later, adri announced that the cats had indeed metamorphosed into moths, and strange-looking moths they were.  i couldn't go and see them until the next day, a saturday, and i hoped that they would stay in place.  sure enough, there they were... we counted more than 20 small moths on the ficus. 

a newly eclosed moth next to its cocoon

that single ficus (and even its fence) was adorned with these funny-looking moths!

it was a bit strange that they stayed in place, i wonder why they didn't fly off.  anyway, there was a pair already starting the next cycle.

a pair starting the next cycle already

here's to the greening of metro manila for the crawlies!


  1. cool noh? sana mapang-aralan natin ang mga boths and buttes ng pinas!