Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis

Posted by & filed under Butterflies.

Monarch Butterfly emerging from it's chrysalis

Monarch Butterfly emerging from it's chrysalis

 

I had a chance to photograph this caterpillar spin it’s chrysalis and then 10 days later, watch it emerge as a monarch butterfly.

During the 10 days it looked like nothing was happening  inside the shell.  But it was a time of rapid change.  For within the protective covering, the old body parts of the caterpillar underwent a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that made up the butterfly.

From the time when the butterfly breaks free of it’s sleeping bag to when the wings are inflated and begin to dry, takes approximately 12 minutes.  So without a crystal ball, on the ninth day, I set up my own sleeping bag next to the caterpillars’ and wait.  I don’t dare sleep.  I’ve watched paint dry and grass grow, but not being able to examine the inside of my eyelids was not fun.  But then it happened.  Miraculous!

This is a time lapse photo over those 10 days.  Each individual image was then stitched together in PhotoShop, and put together as a montage.

To learn more about these amazing flying flowers and what you can do to help ensure their survival, visit the good folks at Pollination Station.

And to see more photos of monarch butterflies, visit my website.