Does the sight of a creepy-crawly in a peapod startle you? Do you instinctively throw it into the garbage? Then don't, because you have just discovered a butterfly. This little green caterpillar will turn into a butterfly in a few weeks. Keep this caterpillar along with the peapod, in a bowl filled with moist soil and place it in a secure place where birds or lizards will not get at it. Also place a small cluster of thin dried sticks vertically inserted in the soil to help the caterpillar roam around if it so desires. Within a week this caterpillar will turn into an immobile pupa, which then undergoes a complete transformation in the next 10 to 15 days and a beautiful butterfly will emerge. Just before pupation the caterpillar becomes restless and wanders around with a sense of urgency searching for a safe place to pupate. It may even try to get out of the bowl. Just be a bit more watchful during this period.
When the butterfly emerges it remains inactive for a few hours waiting for the sun's warmth to dry its wings. At this point it needs to be taken outdoors. The moment it senses the sun it opens out the wings and you get to see a dazzling display of brilliant blues. That's why it is called a Pea "Blue" Butterfly.But the Pea Blue butterfly is not the only insect that lays its eggs in the peapods. There are few moth caterpillars also which feed on the green peas. Look out for a small, flat caterpillar that appears lazy and legless, sticking to the peas - that's the one we are looking for. If the caterpillar is not flat and quite longish with well-developed legs then it is going to be a moth. Moth caterpillars pupate inside the soil and not in the peapod or the soil. So if the caterpillar gets under the soil for pupation, don't lose heart. Let it undergo its full course of transformation and fly off as a moth.But how did the caterpillar get inside the pod? The mother butterfly lays an egg in the young pod in the field. A few days later, the little caterpillar breaks the eggshell and makes a tiny hole in the skin of the pod to enter, searching for food. Green peas sold in the market contain many such. When buy such peas reach our homes they give us a chance to enjoy these flying jewels of nature close up.