The next big step for any Monarch caterpillar is to pupate! That’s when it turns from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. I was blessed to be around when one of the caterpillars pupated, but he was sneaky so I only managed to capture a before and after rather than a “during” …maybe next time. (if you missed my earlier posts, you can see the caterpillars when they were tiny, and the caterpillars when they’d grown bigger).
For purposes of disclosure, I should mention that I rehung most of the chrysalises… they were either on tin foil that I secured to the twig, or tied up there with dental floss. I did a bit of research beforehand so as to avoid damaging the creatures, don’t worry. But I wanted to let you know because these photos have been photoshopped — to remove the unsightly dental floss, tin foil, etc. I did my best to give an accurate rendering and not depart from reality. Maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to try the super glue method!
Anyways, enjoy these macro photographs of the Monarch caterpillar and Monarch chrysalises. They are really amazing to look at close up… and I just today learned that you can tell whether a butterfly is male or female while it’s in its chrysalis. There is a little seam at near those black dots at the top of the chrysalis. Very interesting! Maybe next time around I’ll know to photograph… 🙂 …hindsight is 20/20, huh?