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.
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.
Newly emerged Monarch butterfly, fluffing its wings. Zoom in. It emerged yesterday. I imagine that with the cold nights, it is emerging slowly. A mature butterfly would never stay in one place for hours like this one has been. I read that they pump air into their wings, so that could be what this one is doing.
And there will be more to come. If I can only find them.