Wildlife - Butterflies and Moths

The Monarch Butterfly

Another amazing set of images of the Monarch butterfly from egg to caterpiller and finally to butterfly.
All photos by Christy Kennedy

The eggs are football-shaped, white to begin with and black before hatching. They are laid on Milkweed.

Different stages of young caterpillars.

The caterpillar grows rapidly and sheds its skin frequently.

Shedding in process.

Look at the size difference only a day after shedding.

The caterpillar moves to the lid of the container to get ready to hang, but first it attaches its hindquarters with silk.

About 10 hours later.

About 12 hours later the skin becomes mottled right before the last molt.

The skin is shed one last time revealing the chrysalis. This entire process took about 3 minutes.

Once the shed skin is pushed to the top of the chrysalis, the chrysalis starts rotating in circles(looks like a little dance) so the skin falls off.

The chrysalis after a half hour.

The difference between a brand new chrysalis and an older one.

Chrysalis means 'gold colored'.

About nine days later the chrysalis turns clear, and you can see the butterfly inside before it emerges.

The new butterfly has a fat body and small crumpled wings. It expels fluid from its body, and hands from the empty chrysalis, rotating its body slowly back and forth.

It takes housr for the wings to dry, and the butterfly flaps them to speed the process.

The finished work of art!