Friday, May 27, 2011

Monarchs Are Emerging From Their Chrysalis

Yesterday 7 monarchs emerged from their chrysalis. They remain in the usually green chrysalis for 11-14 days. Sometime during the end of this period, the chrysalis shell clears up and the butterfly can be seen tightly wrapped inside, as seen below

Then, after waiting patiently, the shell cracks and the emerging butterfly pulls itself out into the world. The whole process takes about two minutes.

Once the monarch has completely emerged, the swollen abdomen starts pumping fluid into the stunted looking wings.
It will hang upside down for several hours until the wings are hardened off.

Then it flies off, generally in a northward direction looking for food, a mate, and milkweed. This generation will only live for about two weeks as an adult.

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