Have you ever seen a caterpillar and wonder how they turn into butterflies? Have you ever seen a cocoon and wondered what was in it? I saw a Monarch laying eggs one day and started taking photos daily of her and the eggs progress.
The first photo is a collage of the process. What a fascinating experience. I sat outside all day with the camera waiting for the transformation to start. Then took photos as fast as I could for 10 minutes.
When viewed large you can see another egg just above where she is laying in #1.
#2 is what they call the J shape. This lets you know the caterpillar is ready to change. She (as I found out later) hung like this for about 8 hours that I know of before the change.
In #3 the antennae are limp, the change has started and goes very quickly!
#8 was amazing. It rocked and squirmed all different shapes until it settled on the final well-known shape.
In this next photo the Monarch caterpillar is just starting to change to a chrysalis.
I could not for the life of me see what was happening other than the outer skin was being pushed up in the next photo.
Here is the beautiful chrysalis all done. It went so very fast!
Just moments away. The waiting is killing me! The chrysalis is actually clear. You can see the butterfly wings. When it is green, it is really the caterpillar you are seeing. Then when it really turns clear, you see the butterfly inside. I had this chrysalis sitting on a counter next to the computer. I watched for a while, took the photos then turned back to the pc. When I looked again about 5 minutes later, she had come out of the chrysalis! Oh, the excitement.
This is the female that I raised. She emerged and took about 2 hours to dry off. I put her outside on a flower leaf and watched her until she took her first flight. I almost cried when she flew away. She did fly back to me a few times but then she was gone to make her own life.
Just a week after my first female flew, this guy decided to make a break for freedom. This guy is less than an hour old. The 2 dark spots on each side of the wing show it's a male.
I hope you enjoyed this little show. Maybe it answered a few of your questions. :)