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Watched monarch cat turn to chrysalis today

Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Unbelievably quick too! Started off like this.

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

I noticed some green on the bottom and ran in to get my camera. In about 30 seconds, it was already turning green!

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Continued....

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)


Continued

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Continued

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Continued - body part about to pop off!

This message was edited Apr 17, 2011 7:26 AM

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Loses body part..possibly the rear section, looked like the head.

This message was edited Apr 17, 2011 7:26 AM

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Full chrysalis, but still wet.

This message was edited Apr 17, 2011 12:40 AM

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

I will take another picture tomorrow of the hardened chrysalis. I have been watching for this for a long time, and this is the first one I have seen changing forms. I was amazed how much movement was taking place during the change. It was like the cat was pulling up a pair of pants and then got stuck at the end and part of the body popped right off! I found 3 others today, but they had already changed forms when I discovered them. My milkweed held out and they all made it!

Great day in the back yard!

Russell

This message was edited Apr 17, 2011 7:27 AM

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Great day indeed! Thanks Russell for sharing those pics. Wonderful transitioning phase!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Isn't is amazing when you get to watch it? Love the Monarch. Ten days from now it will emerge a beautiful butterfly....God does good work.

Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Sheila, it was amazing! I have never caught one in action until yesterday. It took about 3 minutes from start to finish. All of the blooms in the yard will be welcome food for our new traveler.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

Congrats on catching that! Hope you get to see one eclose too.

Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

I am definitely watching them....darn work gets in the way, though..LOL.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

It's a joy to be able to do that, Russell. I was lucky enough to watch Gulf Fritilleray cat. transformation. It's magical!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

In about 5 days you should see the chrysalis you first posted turn black and mid morning will emerge in a blink of an eye.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Look at how beautiful that chrysalis is!

Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

I have found 2 newly eclosed monarchs in the last 2 days. I don't know where either one came from - they were well hidden! I will keep an eye on the others and hope to see that magical transformation some time soon.

I was looking at my dill today and was delighted to see 10-15 tiny BST cats crawling on the leaves. Things are really heating up in South Texas!

Russell

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

That's so exciting Russell! Happy for you.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Great, hope you get to see the transformation too.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Russell, what a wonderful sequence of photos and such a great opportunity for you to see and share. Is there a follow up of the glorious conclusion?

Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

I had 5 monarch emerge on 4/25/11 just before work. I went out to look at them and noticed that they had all turned clear. I took a shower and 3 of them had eclosed already.

Here is a picture just before the eclose.

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

This one was in the process, but I missed the very beginning of the process.

Thumbnail by yakmon
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

And they all hung on to the shell of the chrysalis or just beside it like this one. I already have a new batch of cats munching on the milkweed! Yesterday I caught a wasp eating one of the cats....bad wasp!

Thumbnail by yakmon
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Great shots Yakmon!! You only missed by a few seconds it is so quick in emerging.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks for sharing Russell. A wonderful sight.

Lizella, GA(Zone 8a)

LOVE the photos,,thanks for sharing the miracle.

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

What awesome photos. Thanks for sharing....I really have enjoyed looking at them.

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Good going! When I volunteer at the museum and I see one about to transform, I'll grab whoever is around and make them watch. Well, they usually don't have to be coerced. But I'll grab patrons, volunteers, anybody - and they all agree it's a miracle to watch. I've had people say it's a "once in a lifetime" experience for them. I've seen it many times now, but like I tell people, "It never gets old!" Glad you got to see it - I felt like it took forever for me to see one make a chrysalis for the first time.

Melanie

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Quote from mellielong :
"It never gets old!" Glad you got to see it - I felt like it took forever for me to see one make a chrysalis for the first time.

Melanie


So true!

West End, NC

Wonderful pictures and stories! Thanks for sharing them. My six year old granddaughter lives with us and she and I are following a Monarch that just made its chrysalis late yesterday and this morning. We were given the caterpillar by a friend, along with two large stalks of milkweed that we kept in a vase. It was great to see how quickly it devoured the leaves and grew! I am also growing milkweed plants from seed and planting them as they get big enough to make it outside, but am glad we got to experience this on "borrowed" supplies, before w had enough of our own. When it emerges, is there a way to tell if it is female or male? We want to know whether its name should be Monty or Monica before we release it. Thanks!

Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

Not sure about sexing the Monarchs....maybe Dale will chime in. It is really cool to watch them change forms and emerge as a fully developed adult!

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Male Monarchs have scent glands that appear as two black dots on each lower wing. Females lack these. Does anyone have a good photo to demonstrate?

Melanie

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Yep...here is the male..see the distinct black dot on the lower wing?

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

They are absent from the females.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

This is the underside of a Monarch's wing, but you can still tell the difference in male and female. The top one is female, with straight even cell markings. The lower one you can see a widening of the black cell edge where the dot is on the dorsal side.

It is also a way to tell the sex inside the chrysalis, but I don't have the pics close enough for that. Nor do I feel I need to know in advance LOL!

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Portland, TX(Zone 9b)

LOL.....sonograms for the butterflies to be? That would take all of the fun out of it! I just had another monarch eclose today. They have been busy lately.

Russell

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I need some more training to differentiate those. But thanks Sheila.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL! No no sonagram needed. I don't worry about the sexing but here is the method if you are interested. http://monarchwatch.org/biology/sexing.htm

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Wow---I'll take your word for it, Sheila. All dots and lines seem the same to me.

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