Saturday, November 03, 2007

Almost Butterflies....

Wow! I have taken so many photos the past week or so. So much to share! But, I have to start with this. I think we'll have a couple of butterflies tomorrow morning!

Before the butterflies emerge, their chrysalis becomes transparent. Well, I looked tonight and are first 2 are transparent! You can actually see the orange, black & white butterfly through their chrysalids!!! :-)

Usually, early in the morning, the butterfly will emerge and it takes about 5 hours for the wings to dry out. At least, that's what I've read. (In the photo, the 1 ready to emerge is on the left. Try enlarging it - so cool!!!)

Also, I had two other things I wanted to mention about the caterpillars. We saw how they make a little defensive move when another caterpillar (or finger) gets too close. They kind of jerk the front half of their body up in the air. I can see how it might be scary!

The other thing is about the silk disc where they finally attach themselves. From what I could tell, though they "spin" this disc with their hind end (is this called a spinner?), they then turn around and use their mouth to gather this all together and make a little spot to attach themselves. (You can see where they're attached in the photo.) Then, I believe they kind of crawl over this disc keeping it between their legs until their hind legs reach it. Then, they "stick" their last prolegs in it and start their J-shape. Again, this isn't something I've read - just observed. I'd like to read more about it and see if my observations are correct.

Hoping to show you some photos of the newly emerged butterflies tomorrow!


live4evermom said...

This is wonderful to see. We will be doing this next year. Can't wait now.

Robin said...

Dana, that is SO cool. I enlarged the picture and was so fascinated. I've never seen this process so close. Thank you for taking the time to capture the photos. I know it takes a lot of observation.

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