Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Timing!

I'm so glad I brought the Monarch caterpillar in the house yesterday. This morning, when I came downstairs to check on it, it was hanging in the 'J' position, preparing to pupate. I had put the tree branch in there to provide a hanging spot for it, but he attached himself to the panty hose covering I'd put over the bowl.

I checked it all morning and didn't see much action. It was just hanging there.
Then about an hour after I'd checked it the last time, I looked in the bowl and saw this:

WOW. That happened fast. I hate that I missed the start of this process, especially when the bowl is sitting not fifteen feet from where I've been sitting for the last couple of hours. His final shed skin is lying in the bottom of the bowl, but this stage isn't complete and the pupa is wiggling quite a bit as he finishes creating his glistening green casing. I can still see his stripes through the back of it and the golden dots at the bottom of the pupa are not yet prominent, because it hasn't yet reached true chrysalis status. I'm sure it won't be long before it looks like the one Mom found in the Children's Garden.

Once this stage is complete, he will hang like this for about a week. Then the miracle continues as the butterfly emerges. Stay tuned!


Unknown said...

Woohoo indeed, Kylee! This is just great to see. And yes, the little munchkins do convert quickly, but then you get to watch them shrugging and struggling as they get into the just-right position as a chrysalis.
You'll have great fun watching this--and so will we!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Kylee, my black swallowtail emerged yesterday. It was so beautiful. I love to watch this process up close. It is so amazing. Mine took about 10-12 days to emerge.

kate said...


Those are incredible pictures. What a great idea - I had no idea that the transformation from caterpillar to pupa happened so quickly. The colour of the casing is gorgeous.

I am so glad you post pictures like this ... I learn a lot from coming here!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

What a wonderful miracle you're getting to witness! Thank you so much for letting me enjoy it vicariously. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Muum said...

who knew this process was so fast? thanks for a fascinating post.

Randy said...

I was able to watch nine caterpillars make their transformation this summer. They shed that skin verrrrry quickly. I captured everything on film except when the butterflies appeared. It happened so quickly I turned my back for just a second to answer the phone and it was all over. Great photos, I just love cool pics.

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