@Bhagawati Sahu, explained 1st caterpillar was moving towards F.recemosa, second caterpillar moved towards an unknown leaf, third caterpillar moved towards an unknown leaf and fourth caterpillar moved towards F.reliiosa,
The experiment design was developed to put caterpillar in the centre and four different leaves in four different corners on the rectangular sheet separated at equi-distance from each other.
The observations show that different caterpillars may towards different leaves. But we need to design a proper experiment to perform Feeding Preference Test in order to confirm the same hypothesis.
The following is the experimental design setup developed by @Bhagwati Sahu. where 4 caterpillars will be kept at the centre and different leaves at four different corners to perform Feeding Preference Test.
Nice idea. The standard thing we hear is that the butterfly lays eggs on an egg laying plant, and so, one would expect that the hatched worm would eat the leaves of that plant. The interesting question to ask is, do they have a choice?
Also, is there a place where we can get a curated list of host and egg laying plants of common butterflies we find in India?
where were the caterpillars facing? I think each caterpillar saw a leaf and caterpillar walked to it. catterpillar walk
@kvk a nice hypothesis, can the caterpillar move by seeing or by sense of smell? The design of the experiment needs to factor in the orientation of caterpillar placed at the centre of setup. @KiranyadavR @bhagawati sahu @Theertha lets take these points to refine the experiment.
@GN nice point, we have some ideas like Common mormon caterpillar moves towards curry leaves, but we see some common mormon even on phyllanthus plant leaves. So one caterpillar can have multiple host plants. The Feeding Preference Test will help us to know what all different types of leaves a single caterpillar can get attracted towards.
Most caterpillars have cylindrical bodies consisting of multiple segments, with three pairs of true legs on the thorax and several pairs of short, fleshy prolegs on the abdomen. The head has six small eyes (stemmata) on each side that function in light detection but not in image formation. (Brittanica).
Maybe the eyes detect green colour.