Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Save the Monarchs! (Part II)

A couple of weeks ago, I took in three Monarch caterpillars with the hopes of raising them to adulthood.  Here is a look at how they have been progressing under my care:

10/10/14 (Day5):  In the evening, I checked on my baby caterpillars and there wasn't too much movement.  I checked on them an hour later before I was about to go to bed and found one of the caterpillars started to form the "J" shape right before it starts to pupate!  You can even see his silk-mat.  They hang in this shape for about a day before they shed their skin for the last time as a caterpillar.  Unfortunately, I had to leave town mid-day the following day, so I did not get to witness the final skin shedding of the metamorphosis.

10/11/14 (Day 6):  I had to leave town and was going to be away for a few days.  I still had two caterpillars in their fifth instar and didn't want them to starve on old milkweed while I was away, so I bought a small potted milkweed plant at my local nursery and put that in the butterfly habitat, hoping it would be sufficient for any remaining munching my little guys would need to do.

10/13/14 (Day 8):  I returned from my weekend trip to find all three of my caterpillar babies in their chrysalises.  I was in awe of the beauty of the little green jewels, even encrusted with flecks of gold.

Chrysalis #1 - This was the same guy that was forming the "J" in the Day 5 picture above.  Crazy what a difference a couple of days makes!

Chrysalis #2:  This guys traveled up to the very top of the butterfly habitat to form his chrysalis.  You can see the flecks of gold, and even make out the faint pattern of the monarch wings.

Chrysalis #3:  Can you find him?  He is camouflaged quite nicely.  I'll give you a hint - look in the middle of the picture.  See him there?  Now, I just need to play the waiting game for about 10-14 days before my butterflies emerge!

10/21/14 (Day 16):  It has been at least 8 days since my monarchs formed their chrysalises.  I can tell that the chrysalises are becoming more translucent, so we are getting closer! You can make out the black and orange colors, and even the white spots on their wings! Probably just a few more days until they emerge!


  1. Oh, what a treat. Thank you so much for sharing these photos, Rebecca.

  2. These are absolutely awesome to see - I've never been privileged to witness this first hand before (well, first hand through your photos anyway..). Thanks for sharing - can't wait to see your butterflies when they emerge!

    1. I know - I can't wait! This is my first time rearing butterflies. I remember doing it in grade school, but I couldn't fully appreciate the magic of the transformation at that time. I can't wait to see my beautiful butterflies!