Thursday, September 15, 2011

Monarch Butterfly Miracles

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis

I found this on a beet leaf we had pulled from the garden.  Herb has a big stand of milkweed that attracts butterflies and other creatures, including Hummingbirds. The larva eat the milkweed, which is poisonious and renders the caterpillar and subsequent Chrysalis and emerging Monarch Butterfly to have no natural predators.
After awhile, the caterpillars attach themselves head down to a convenient twig, (as seen above) they shed their outer skin and begin the transformation into a pupa (or chrysalis), a process which is completed in a matter of hours.  

The pupa resembles a transparent jade vase with exquisite iridescent gold on the ridges of along the lower part of the  little jade jewel, and becomes increasingly transparent as the process progresses.  The caterpillar completes the miraculous transformation into a beautiful adult butterfly in about two weeks. 

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