Missing the “Green Gene”

By |2021-02-02T09:27:59-05:00April 14th, 2019|Peek-A-Boo Metamorphosis|

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 [...]

Up Close

By |2021-02-02T09:28:23-05:00April 14th, 2019|Peek-A-Boo Metamorphosis|

Click any image to view its full size. 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


By |2021-02-02T09:28:31-05:00April 14th, 2019|Peek-A-Boo Metamorphosis|

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!

Scale Wing

By |2021-02-02T09:28:36-05:00April 14th, 2019|Peek-A-Boo Metamorphosis|

The monarch’s scientific name is Danaus plexippus. Butterflies and moths belong to a category of insects called Lepidoptera, which means “scale wing.” It comes from the Greek word s lepidos (scale) and pteron (wing). Monarch wings are made of thousands of tiny overlapping scales, like fish scales or shingles on a roof. These powdery scales give butterflies their beautiful color and patterns. Microscopic Scales on a Monarch Butterfly’s Wing on “Dude with a Microscope Episode 2!


By |2021-02-02T09:28:48-05:00April 13th, 2019|Peek-A-Boo Metamorphosis, Silk Button|

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!!! PHOTOS: (images 1, 3, 4) Holli Webb Hearn, (image 2) Dr. Lincoln Brower

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