The first of the batch of eggs that we found on the milkweed in our garden has emerged! Picking up where my last blog post, Monarch Caterpillar to Chrysalis, left off - the first photo I put up for you here is how the chrysalises have looked for the past few weeks.
The first caterpillar to form a chrysalis started to darken a few days ago. Actually it looks dark, but what's happening is that the chrysalis is becoming transparent, so you can see the butterfly inside. Soon you can see the pattern and color of the wings. I took the photograph showing the wings through the chrysalis around 3:30.
I was running upstairs every so often to check, but I finally just settled down next to the butterfly house with a book. I looked up at about 4:15 and saw that the chrysalis was cracked, that's the next photo.
The photo after that shows the butterfly holding onto the chrysalis with its legs - the wings and body have dropped out of the chrysalis. And then you can see how its abdomen is hanging down, it's filled with fluid that the butterfly uses to inflate its wings. Next the wings fill and lengthen. Look at the extreme closeup showing the curled proboscis (which it will use to drink), and the butterfly's legs holding onto the chrysalis.
In the next few photos, the forewings start to show from under the hindwing - the forewings are peeking out from under the rounded hindwing, and you can see them lengthen further and further down.
Finally, about a half hour after the butterfly began to emerge, it's in its final form. It continues to hang, letting its wings dry and harden. Soon we'll release the butterfly on Albany Hill, !
These are my other blog posts with photographs about the monarch who laid the eggs, the caterpillars, and the chrysalis: