It is getting pretty cold here in southern Australia now, but I have about 150 pupae inside, innumerable caterpillars and butterflies still laying. All doomed, I guess, but I've found some odd things:
One new chrysalis, perfect in form, but a lovely pale gold in colour, - almost translucent. I didn't see the cat that formed it, but apart from colour it seems perfect. Has anyone seen an albino (or bloodless) pupa?
One with a perfectly formed back but all the front of a caterpillar. What does this?
A few beautiful green pupae but the 'top' (abdomen) is white.
Last year at this time when the plants were really worn out I noticed quite a few butterflies with tiny stunted wings. The rest of the body was normal but the wings never expanded, staying about half the size of the body. After a few of these I was able to pick them because the butterfly had to be helped out of the pupa case. So the wings, which were perfect in shape and colour, were never big enough to split the case. I haven't seen any of those this year, - but again I've never seen a pale yellow one before either!
There seem to be more predators around now too, - a nasty shield bug which impales and eats the caterpillars, ants and Harlequin bugs that eat the pupae as well as the normal disasters like falling off a twig. I guess that's why they lay so many eggs, - but I really wish they would slow down in cooler weather!