Raising Monarchs, 2019
From Chrysalis to Butterfly
|March 29, 2020
The big moment in the life of a chrysalis (or its observer) occurs when the metamorphosis is complete and a monarch emerges. As in much everything else, patience is important, since it takes an average of 8 to 12 days for the transformation to happen.
On the morning of day 9, the chrysalis below appears perfectly ordinary.
|By the evening of day 9, something new develops: The chrysalis begins to become transparent, and a portion of a monarch wing is visible.
|On the morning of day 10, the chrysalis appears black. Actually, its transparency has increased.
|The "black" phase lasts a half-hour or less. The time difference between the photo above and the one below is 7 minutes. And, yes, in the photo below the bottom of the chrysalis opens and the monarch struggles to emerge.
|This particular monarch took longer than the others to work free of the now obviously transparent shell of its chrysalis.
|The monarch flips out of its chrysalis shell and hangs upside-down.
|After the monarch is assured of its grip, the next phase begins.
|Fluid from the oversized body of the monarch is pumped into and expands its wings.
|The monarch body decreases and its wings increase.
|The wings take about 10 minutes to achieve their full size.
|After the pumping is finished, the monarch hangs about while its wings dry and assume their proper shape.
I took the above photo on the day after the monarch came out of its chrysalis, although the monarch's wings were already in good shape the previous evening.
Note: I've added a video of the chrysalis-to-monarch transformation, Aug. 16, 2023.
The next step is releasing the adult monarch.
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