Monday, June 28, 2010

Video--Monarch Caterpillar Into Chrysalis

Here's monarch number 2 turning into a chrysalis. A bit grainy, but fascinating every time. Hopefully, black swallowtails are next.

9 comments:

MrBrownThumb said...

Cool video. For years I've wanted to do something similar and now that I have nephews and a niece the right age I should do it so that they can see the cycles butterflies go through.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I never did this stuff as a kid (too gross), so I'm making up for it now. But I can tell that if / when I have kids, it'll be all nature all the time.

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

I've never seen this before! I always wondered about the process. It goes much faster than I thought. My kids loved seeing this!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Susan--so glad you showed your kids! That's cool. It goes VERY fast, the monarch change that is, and in less than an hour it stops pulsating completely--then 10-14 days is emergence.

Scott said...

Wow ! Do you have some kind of micro-chip thing on the caterpillar to alert you to when this process begins, or what? Just put on the big pot of coffee and sit around the Monarch corral and wait... Anyway, thanks ! Really cool to watch and incredibly fast. The tiny strand holding the critter to the ceiling of this cage it's in must be incredibly strong to stay attached through all this wriggling. Amazing you corralled so many Monarchs with no milkweeds ! Ha ! Just kidding. My most populous butterfly might be the Mourning Cloak, which first appeared in April and has made a resurgence in the past couple weeks.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Scott--All that squirming around isn't just to get the skin off, but to push itself up into the silk ball even more. Atually, it's easy to tell when they might be ready to change--the front "antennae" get really limp and wrinkly, and the head starts pulsating. That's when you know it could be any minute, or an hour or two. I finally just set up the camera for 30 minutes and caught its 30 second changeover. Here, teh silver spotted skipper is the most numerous butterfly, laying eggs on my baptisias.

Helen at summerhouse said...

Amazing video. I've always been fascinated by this whole transformation to butterfly. It really is miraculous, the total change from crawling with lots of legs to becoming this elegant flyer.

Meredehuit ♥ said...

As a child I gathered monarch and swallow tail caterpillars and put them in glass jars to watch the metamorphis. Such a beautiful experience. Thank you for sharing!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Helen--This simple event is as good reminder as any of the awesomeness of our own lives, not just those of butterflies. Though Ive always beleived that if you can see something so small for what it is, and not what is is through your perception, then you will have no choie but to change yourself.
Meredehuit--I'm a kid! I have 9 swallowtails outside, lots of monarch eggs, and today saw a spicebush swallowtail, red-spoted purple, and monarch enjoying the coneflowers and liatris. Wonderful!