No better time than now

Leave a comment

Chrysalis in Thorny Bougainvillea

First time for me to find a Monarch chrysalis amidst the Bougainvillea. As they are very thorny, I was not positive that the caterpillars would go there. On the other hand the camouflage is good.

Perspective on chrysalis is Bougainvillea. Camouflaged.

Right now I am watching eight chrysalides in my garden. But as you can see, they are so well camouflaged that there must be several more hidden in the leaves that I have not found.

With this finding of the chrysalis in the Bougainvillea there is now a chrysalis or J stage caterpillar in all of the plants in this corner. Alstroemeria, lantana, salvia/sage, and Bougainvillea.

Note: Over 24 caterpillars in the Milkweeds today.

Leave a comment

Chrysalis Process – Monarch Butterfly, with Video

Morning. This is the caterpillar in J stage. It’s hanging with its head down. The backend has cemented itself to the Alstroemeria stem, somewhat sheltered by a leaf. I’m on transformation watch for it to shed its skin. Checking all through this rainy day.
Late afternoon. Very far along. Starting from the bottom, it sheds its skin by wiggling to push it up. The skin is that black folded material.
The skin moves up, revealing what will be the green chrysalis.
It is out of the skin. Sometimes they push they push the black skin entirely away until it falls to the ground. Sometimes it stays there. See the intricacy of the forming chrysalis at the bottom.
Getting dark. I’ll have to photograph the final chrysalis in the morning. I’m very excited. This is my first chance to see a caterpillar settling in place, then hanging J stage, then shedding skin.
Video of how it gyrates to push away the old skin.
Next morning. This is not the final, crystal-like shape of the chrysalis. I will post the final shape, io hope with less rain distorting the surface.

Leave a comment

Caterpillar “J Stage” Watch – Waiting for Transformation to Chrysalis

There is one Monarch butterfly caterpillar at J stage. Two more appear to be affixing to the Alstroemeria to prepare for J stage.

This J stage is the stage right before the caterpillar sheds its skin and becomes a chrysalis.

I’m trying to catch that shedding, but it’s difficult to do without a time-lapse camera taking photos every 5 minutes or so. But with three caterpillars in- or headed-to-J stage, maybe I’ll get lucky.

This is a fascinating process. If you want to see more, search for “Monarch Butterfly Lifecycle” on YouTube, there are many amateur videos which show the process from J stage to chrysalis.

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar at J stage, before it sheds its skin to become a chrysalis
Appear to be affixing to Alstroemeria before J stage
These are the Alstroemerias
In the center is a green Monarch chrysalis. See how well camouflaged it is. I inadvertently planted an ideal garden for this habitat.

Leave a comment

5th Chrysalis

I was starting out to carefully trim this purple salvia. I wondered if their might be any chrysalides in it as it is near the milkweeds.

Luckily I spotted this one before I trimmed above it.

This is the 5th concurrent chrysalis in my garden right now. There are at least six more caterpillars noshing. Last year this went on until January. But it started later because the milkweeds were less mature. No trimming near rude milkweeds until February.

Leave a comment

J Shape Starting

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar – soon to form a chrysalis – 10:05 AM

12:51 PM

This photo is not in proper focus. But I wanted to capture that in less than three hours it went from caterpillar to chrysalis.

I thought that I was checking frequently enough to see it start and take progressive photos. It was Thanksgiving Day and in was busy. The process of shedding its skin and transforming to the chrysalis was over in about 2.5 hours.

I took this photo the following morning.

Currently there are four chrysalides at my house. I hope to find another in J state to take photos.