Monday, September 1, 2008

Announcing the Birth of a Monarch, With Photos

This is our first raised-in-captivity monarch (and first successful one period from inside or out--so far the record on making it from chrysalis to butterfly is 1-4). You should have seen the wife and I vying for position to watch him emerge--not pretty. It took him, yes him, 10 days from chrysalis to butterfly. Within about 2-3 hours he was ready to go, wings fully inflated. Before leaving the garden he rested on a red chokeberry and partook of some baby joe eupatorium. Good luck, dear sir, it's been a pleasure.

The last image is the red milkweed--see any leaves? Three dozen caterpillars will do that. Only six left outside, five inside. Summer is almost over, a fact made more potent by 90 degrees today, 72 tomorrow.

And as always, click on an image to expand the view. If only real objects worked like this.











15 comments:

Layanee said...

Great shots and you should be proud 'foster parents'.

susan harris said...

Fabulous!!!

Frances, said...

Many congrats to you and the missus on your successful hatching. He is a handsome fellow.

Gail said...

Wonderful!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Coolest shots I've ever seen of an emerging monarch. At least he has the good sense to partake of your garden bounty instead of flying off into the great beyond immediately, like that ingrate swallowtail... ;)

flydragon said...

That first shot is amazing. Makes me think of a miniature stained glass hanging lantern.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Layanee--One down, 7 to go, though we did lose one yesterday who didn't make it out of the "J"--it spasmed in death throws then went limp, alas.
Susan--Fabulous like Godiva!
Frances--Merci beaucoup
Gail--Again, like Godiva!
Kim--Coolest ever, huh? Hmmm.
FD--Yes, that's a good comparison, indeed. Thanks for stopping by.

Pam said...

Hey, these are great - how fun. I've actually never seen one emerge, so this was definitely a treat.

WiseAcre said...

Now I can say I've seen a butterfly emerge. Those are great photos and make me wish I could have seen it personally. I keep looking but so far haven't found a chrysalis.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Pam--I only wish I'd had the video camera out! Or, at least used the video mode on my digital camera. Why didn't I do that? Maybe next time if I'm so luck yas to time my walking by the terrarium correctly.
WA--They are SO terribly hard to find! I am amazed at even how well the cats can hide, and you wouldn't think that at all, let alone that darn green chrysalis.

our friend Ben said...

Thank you, Benjamin! Your fantastic photos brought back all the excitement of watching our monarch Elvis emerge from his chrysalis in the Pullet Palace a few years ago. I swear he still returns to visit us every year!

Kylee said...

Ben, isn't it just thrilling to see this? I got choked up last year when I sent ours off into the world. Right now I have two chrysalides inside, plus two caterpillars, one of which is right now in the J position. The other one is thinking about it at the top of the punch bowl.

You've got some fabulous photos, as usual. Thanks for sharing!!

Benjamin Vogt said...

It got really cold one night last week, so I brought it what I could see--about 8 cats. We have 6 chrysalides now inside, and 5 2nd and 3rd instar cats. We just watched one emerge outside under our deck, but we couldn't stay long since it's so cold!

But I get choked up, too, when I see tachnid fly maggots come out of a chrysalis or cat--I got to those guys too late, I guess.

joco said...

Hiya,

Don't know how I got here, but I'm so glad I did!

What an enviable experience to have that happen before your very eyes.
Thanks for recording it so beautifully.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Joco--That's how life works, glad you stoped by and enjoyed something. We've now seen several monarchs do there things, 3-4 males and 3-4 females, and still have some very young cats down the pipepline which should emerge in mid October--though that's getting late to migrate down to MX!