August 18, 2022

Butterfly Pool Results

Early in the morning, the side by side chrysalides no longer looked like twins. After 9 days as a chrysalis, the first to pupate (left) will be the first to emerge as a butterfly.
Note the color change.

A side view of the mature chrysalis shows the butterfly inside is arching, putting pressure against the outer skin.

Translucent = will eclose very soon.

The changes happen quick. We went for a pre-breakfast walk and missed the butterfly coming out of the chrysalis. And while I was making an afternoon smoothie, I missed a second butterfly emerge!

The bottom butterfly's wings are still wet and floppy.
When they first emerge, their wings are crumpled from being crammed in the chrysalis. The butterfly stretches and strengthens its wing muscles by slowing moving its wings. They quickly expand, dry and harden. 

A new butterfly likes something to climb up. I'd forgotten that they purge after eclosing. No solids like the last stage as a caterpillar, just a cloudy liquid.

I always try to set new butterflies on a flower. They don't need nectar yet, but I hope it helps them identify our yard as a good food source so they come back.

Still early enough that some morning glories are still available for offer.
Warmed by the sun, wings fully hardened, I think the butterfly must complete its purge before taking flight.
Finally, a dorsal view! This one's a male.

Another male. If you compare their dots you'll see that their patterns are unique.

Our third chrysalis turned out to be male as well. All three were in chrysalis form for nine days.

I wish one would've been a female so I could show you the difference in appearance. You have to look at their top side, which can take patience since they spend more time folded up than exposed. When you finally glimpse of the dorsal view, look for the amount of blue. Males don't have a lot of blue. Females have more blue (which displaces the yellow). I found three more caterpillars on the parsley, so I'm still hoping for a female to show you soon.


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