Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a medicinal plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family, which is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. In Pakistan it grows wildly on fields sides and uncultivated lands and reach a height of about 5 to 6 feet. Ashwagandha is also known by a number of other names like Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha and Kanaje Hindi etc. In domestic language Pashto it's called Koti lal (Koti=ball, Lal= red), may be because of its red colored round fruit. In Urdu it's called Asgandha or Asgund.
I've grown a few Ashwagandha plants at my farmhouse this year. Now the plants are about three months old. I have grown them for personal use and will try to validate it medicinal properties. I'm also interested in growing it commercially, but I will first search for its market.

Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Plant
Ashwagandha Plant
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Plant
Ashwagandha Plant
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Plant
Ashwagandha Plant
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Leaves
Ashwagandha Leaves
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera FLowers
Ashwagandha Flower
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Fruits
Ashwagandha Fruits
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Fruits
Ashwagandha Fruits
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Seeds
Ashwagandha Seeds
Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera Root
Ashwagandha Root

Common Castor Butterfly Life Cycle

Common Castor (Ariadne merione), also called Castor Butterfly is an unattractive butterfly and that is why I always ignore it. Some days before I decided to photograph it. Below are the images of different stages of the butterfly.

Egg stage
Common castor butterfly lay individual eggs on the back side of the host plant, castor. The round shaped yellow eggs are covered with spines. They lay a large number of eggs per leaf.

Common Castor Butterfly Eggs
Common Castor Butterfly Eggs PictureCommon Castor Butterfly Eggs PictureCommon Castor Butterfly Eggs PictureLarva Stage
The common castor butterfly larva feed on castor leave. The green colored caterpillar have dorsal longitudinal brown stripe and two dorsal and two lateral rows of short branched-spines. There is a pair of long, straight branched-spines on the head. The caterpillar turns reddish-brown when mature.

Common Castor Butterfly Larvae (Caterpillars)
Common Castor Butterfly Eggs PictireCommon Castor Butterfly Eggs PictureCommon Castor Butterfly Eggs Picture
Mature Caterpillar
Common Castor Butterfly Larva-Caterpillar Picture
Pre-Pupa Caterpillar
Common Castor Butterfly Larva-Caterpillar PicturePupa( Chrysalis) Stage
The chrysalis of common castor is pale green and angular in shape. It's expended wing-cases, a dorsal projection and two small cephalic points. It has a length of about 15mm-20mm. As I was observing the pupa in November (a cold month), it took about 20 days in becoming mature.

Common Castor Butterfly Pupa (Chrysalis)
Common Castor Butterfly Pupa-Chrysalis PictureCommon Castor Butterfly Pupa-Chrysalis Picture
Mature Pupa (Chrysalis)Mature ChrysalisPupa Picture
Adult Stage
Common Castor (Ariadne merione), is a medium size (wingspan 50mm-60mm) butterfly of the family Nymphalidae (The Brush Footed Butterflies). It has an orange color with brown wavy lines. As larvae feed exclusively on Castor,that is way it's called Common Castor Butterfly. The dry season butterfly has a wider wingspan as compare to wet season. Below are the images of dry season common castor butterfly.

Common Castor Butterfly
Common Castor Butterfly PictureCommon Castor Butterfly Picture

Velvet Ants

Velvet Ants or Mutillidae are a family of wasps whose males have wings but females are wingless and resemble ants. They are not aggressive however the females have a very painful sting if handled. Some species are known as "Cow Killer Ant" because their sting is said to be painful enough to kill even a cow. The adult velvet ants feed on nectar while their larvae are parasites that consume larvae or pupae of wasp that nest in the ground .

Velvet Ants
Velvet Ant
Velvet Ant
Velvet Ant

Two-tailed Spiders

Two-tailed Spiders (Long-spinnered Bark Spiders) are a genus (Hersilia) of tree trunk spiders in the Hersiliidae family. They are known as Two-tailed spiders, because of their two enlarged spinnerets. They can't be found easily, because of their brown color that camouflage the tree bark very well. They have long striped and spiny legs. They live on a tree trunk and don't build web or shelter. They sit on tree trunk all the day and night waiting for their prey. Below are the pictures of a same spider taken with and without flash.

Two-tailed Spider Pictures
Two-tailed Spider Picture
Two-tailed Spider Picture
Two-tailed Spider Picture

Common Emigrant Butterfly Life Cycle

Here are some pictures representing four stages of the life cycle of common emigrant butterfly.

1st Stage-Eggs

The female common emigrant butterfly lays its spindle shaped yellowish eggs individually on the back side of the host plants (Cassias). The main host plant in our area is sickle senna (Cassia obtusifolia or Senna obtusifolia).

Common Emigrant Butterfly Egg
Common Emigrant Butterfly Egg

2nd Stage-Larva (Caterpillar)

The caterpillar of common emigrant has agreen rough body with tiny black spots and a white lateral line sandwiched between an upper black spotted-line and a lower olive green stripe. The caterpillar reach a maximum length of about 35mm. The mature caterpillar generally stuck itself head-up under the leaf of the hostplant. A silken girdle helps it to stay in an upward position. The larval stagis completed in about two weeks.

Common Emigrant Butterfly Caterpillar
Pre-pupa Caterpillar


3rd Stage-Pupa (Chrysalis)
The common emigrant butterfly pupa (measuring 20mm in length) has bright pale green color, having a yellow color line on each side running from head to tail. There is also a yellow line on the top of thorax. The color become dark with the passage of time. As the pupa mature, it's become transparent. The pupa stage lasts for about 6-7 days.


Common Emigrant Butterfly Pupa (Chrysalis)
Common Emigrant Butterfly Pupa (Chrysalis)
Common Emigrant Butterfly Pupa (Chrysalis)


4th Stage-Adult Butterfly

The Common Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona), also called the Lemon Emigrant or Lemon Migrant, is a medium-sized (wingspan: 45mm-60mm) pierid butterfly found in Asia and Austrealia. This butterfly gets its name from the migration habit.
They have a great variability in colors and marks. Both the male and female have pale white upper side with a black spot at the distal end of the forewing cell though this spot is sometimes absent in the male. In the male, the upper side of the apex of the forewing is narrowly black and continues partway along the termen and costa. In the female, the black bands are wider and are continued along the entire length of the costa and termen.
The male has a sulpher or pale green underside with or without a radish-brown spot on both the forewing and hindwing. The female has pale yellow underside with radish-brown spots including three or two white centered spots. In both sexes, except for a small area on the lower half of the forewing, which is unmarked, the remaining areas are marked with very fine brown lines.

Common Emigrant Butterfly (female)

Common Emigrant Butterfly (Male)
Common Emigrant Butterfly (Male)
Common Emigrant Butterflies Mating Pair

Host Plant Cassia obtusifolia (Chinese Senna or Sicklepod)