The Mystery is Revealed!

| December 8, 2012 | 6 Replies

The sun came out today and it warmed up in the afternoon, so I was keeping an hourly watch on this caterpillar, as another curled up cat, that had been curled up for two days, formed a chrysalis in a couple of hours and I missed it. This one looked pretty much the same as it did for the last couple of cold days. I checked on it about 1PM, and it still had stripes.

Monarch Beginning to Form Chrysalis

Curled up Monarch Caterpillar

I went out for celery and herbs for my soup after 45 minutes, or so, and glanced over and it was mint green and writhing! I ran for my camera.

I missed the part where the green appeared, but the mystery of how it changes shape is now evident. It goes inside this sock and writhes around, rocking back and forth, till it’s in position. An hour later, it looked like this!

New Monarch Chrysalis

Monarch Caterpillar Chrysalis

It’s not all fun and excitement in the garden. With my new fall sprouts come slugs and snails and earwigs chomping on the tender shoots. So, my nightly flashlight prowls have resumed. Squishing all those is not something I look forward to, but, I have to protect my plants, and several seedlings have already been damaged, so squish I must! I’m also using crushed eggshells around them to discourage slugs and snails, as I hear they don’t like to move over the sharp pieces. But, what organic preventative will stop an earwig? Thanks for checking into “Late Bloomer!” – Kaye

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Category: Monarch Butterfly

Comments (6)

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  1. It’s kind of humbling the struggle that they have to evolve

    • Indeed, and I watched two in the curled up stage, die before forming the chrysalis, and I think the chrysalis that got pooped on is now dead, too. Sigh. After you watch these critters for days and days, and they don’t make it, or if they scoot off (to find a chrysalis location) and I don’t see where they went, it kind of hurts. That’s just the mother in me! 🙂 – Kaye

    • You’re welcome! I just counted, and I have a bunch of baby cats, as well as about 6 full-size, and eight chrysalises! I moved three babies (moved the branch they were on) to another milkweed, as I’m running out of milkweed!

  2. MaryZ says:

    How cool! a work of art

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