Caractacus the mystery caterpillar has revealed his true identity at last. As a caterpillar, he puzzled us by varying the usual coloration of a monarch: But in every other respect he acted like a monarch. He ate milkweed, grew, spun a silk button, hung in a J, and formed a green chrysalis that gradually became more transparent until this morning it looked like this. This afternoon, we observed him emerging from the chrysalis. It was exciting for me! — I’ve never been able to see…Continue Reading “Nature Notes: Mystery Solved”

I took some video of a monarch caterpillar’s chrysalis forming today. The caterpillar had spun its silk button and attached itself to the underside of a milkweed leaf — not the ideal spot, as the leaf will dry out, or another caterpillar may decide to eat it. After the chrysalis was finished we removed the leaf and positioned it in a safer, more stable spot. This video is of the first five minutes or so, as the caterpillar’s old skin is pushed off. It takes…Continue Reading “Chrysalis Formation”