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.
On the point of the metamorphosis finishing, the wall of the chrysalis becomes transparent.
The monarch inside is clearly seen. An hour or so later, the monarch emerges.
As the caterpillar formed its chrysalis while upside-down, so the butterfly emerges upside-down.
The point here is for the monarch to make as wide an opening as possible to get out of its chrysalis.
The monarch tumbles out. Note its proboscis: It is in two parts, which will soon fuse together.
The monarch climbs up its chrysalis in order to begin its next and extremely important chore.
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.
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.
After the first pair of wings has grown, the next and lower pair follow.
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.
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.
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).
Once outside the cube, the monarch quickly orients himself for flight.
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!