A monarch emerging

About ten days after a monarch caterpillar forms its chrysalis, it is ready to come out and face the world – as a butterfly.

First here is a monarch chrysalis looking quiet and tranquil. The excitement is some days away.

Monarch chrysalis.

On the point of the metamorphosis finishing, the wall of the chrysalis becomes transparent.

The monarch within.

The monarch inside is clearly seen. An hour or so later, the monarch emerges.

The chrysalis splits open.

As the caterpillar formed its chrysalis while upside-down, so the butterfly emerges upside-down.

The chrysalis opens further.

The point here is for the monarch to make as wide an opening as possible to get out of its chrysalis.

Monarch out!

The monarch tumbles out. Note its proboscis: It is in two parts, which will soon fuse together.

Monarch right-side up.

The monarch climbs up its chrysalis in order to begin its next and extremely important chore.

Monarch in position.

The monarch obtains a firm grasp on its chrysalis and is prepared to begin “growing” its wings. Note that plump body? It has the fluid necessary for the wings-to-be.

Wing growth.

It only takes the monarch a few minutes, but it is fascinating watching. Above, the wings are now level with the extent of its body that is correspondingly becoming narrower.

Upper wings complete.

After the first pair of wings has grown, the next and lower pair follow.

A fully grown monarch.

After the wings are complete, the monarch rests in position in order to let the wings dry. At this moment in time, the wings are very fragile.

A monarch ready for the outdoors.

After his wings are dry, the monarch starts moving about and testing his wings. The enlargement on each one of innermost veins near the body say that this monarch is a guy.

Catching a monarch.

After letting the monarch rest overnight, we leave him outside (in his cube) to become accustomed to the ambient temperature and weather. Subsequently, he is ready to go (even if he doesn’t know it).

A monarch perch.

Once outside the cube, the monarch quickly orients himself for flight.

Monarch aloft!

This particular monarch was a rapid flyer, ascending in a circular pattern to about 40 feet and then flying and disappearing over the roof of our home.

One additional monarch ready to visit Mexico!

Chet Gottfried

About Chet Gottfried

I live with my wife Sue in Cooper's Pond, State College, Pennsylvania, and next to a game land, which is convenient for walking, photography, and thinking of new stories.
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