METAMORPHOSIS ~ met·a·mor·pho·sis “Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation.” —WIKIPEDIA
PHOTO: Journey North
The outside of the chrysalis is actually clear so what you see is the green “pupa” inside. As the pupa changes from the body parts of a caterpillar into the body parts of a butterfly, you can see a definite color change inside the chrysalis. When it’s ready to make its way into the world, the chrysalis color will turn brown, yellow and orange.
Children and adults watch with wonder and excitement as the caterpillar makes its final shed and becomes a beautiful Chrysalis! The VIDEO demonstrates this crucial moment in the life of the monarch butterfly!
VIDEOGRAPHER Christina McKinney
The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is generally seen as a “green” chrysalis. The outside of the chrysalis highlighted with glistening gold dots has the appearance of jade. Queen butterflies have displayed a chrysalis in shades of green, white and pink. Edith Smith at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm and Dr. Chip Taylor at Monarch Watch have both successfully raised chrysalises in varieties of color – without the “green gene.” They have named this OPY for “Orange Pink Yellow“ and this is currently being studied by Monarch Watch.
PHOTO: Permission was granted by Photographer Edith Smith of Shady Oak Butterfly Farm. You can visit her Butterfly Fun Facts site on Facebook or check out her web page at http://www.butterflyfunfacts.com/
HOLLI WEBB HEARN is the administrator and creator of the highly-acclaimed Facebook Group, The Beautiful Monarch. The active group offers information on care, breeding, raise and release, and feeding monarchs. Experience beautiful photos, receive updates on migration, tagging information, health issues, and the Monarch’s “fight for survival.”
PHOTOS: All photos in the “Up Close” Section by Holli Webb Hearn
After the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis – the PROBOSCIS is in two parts. The monarch actually zips the two parts together to form a central channel – or food tube – to sip the nectar from flowers. This food tube acts like a straw ~ curling up when not in use…and uncurling into a long tubular protrusion to sip and bring nutrients into the body and digestive system. Its munching caterpillar days are over!
The CREMASTER is the little stem-like appendage that reaches out from under the crumpled skin to connect with the silk button. It holds the chrysalis safely through wind and rainstorms, performing an amazing “high-wire” feat. The caterpillar actually lets go – and then grabs hold – Catching this on film was awesome – one of the best videos I have seen!!!