On October 2nd I could see the yellow showing through the chrysalis so I knew it would emerge soon.
I think this is the winter form of the Orange Barred Sulphur female, but
the chrysalis was smaller than the other one I raised, so before it
emerged and I saw the orange-red on the wings I thought it was a
I have a bunch of caterpillars going right now, some all
ready in chrysalis, so I'll update after I get one that I'm sure is a
cloudless to compare to this one.
Look at how much difference one night made! It emerged right in front of
me shortly after I took this picture.
It squeezed out the bottom a bit, and then, like an acrobat, it did a
really fast back flip that brought it all the way out of its chrysalis.
Then the butterfly hung on its chrysalis, extending and drying its
wings, while I sat snapping pictures as fast as I could.
Caution: Raising butterflies can be distracting, and disruptive to your
family and job.
When you find yourself feeding your caterpillars before you cook
dinner, and your kids are suddenly interested in operating the washing
machine because you might have neglected the laundry a little too long
(ok, that was an unexpected bonus; I've been trying to make them help
with the laundry for years!), and then you risk nearly being late to
work because you need to watch the butterfly emerge...
Well, you've been warned!
It is so very tempting to gently stick your finger in front a butterfly
after it emerges. They will crawl right on up and hang there while you
look at them. [Make sure you let them hang upside-down or their wings
will dry wrong and they will be unable to fly.] See that droplet the
butterfly is excreting? When you have an emerging butterfly, be careful
to hold a tissue under it to catch those! It's abdomen is puffy and full
of fluid when it comes out of the chrysalis. Some of that fluid gets
pumped into its wings to extend them, but the rest comes out and lands
on whatever the butterfly is over; you probably don't want that to be
your carpet or clothing.
Unfortunately at this point I HAD to leave for work or be late. Bummer!
(No, I was extremely unhappy, I did NOT want to leave until it flew
away, and I nearly called in sick so I could continue to play with it,
but I didn't.)
I coaxed the butterfly onto a leaf on my potted
Mistflower, moved it to a
sheltered corner of my porch, stuck a couple of other plants in front of
it to hide it better (I didn't want it to become bird food!), hoped for
the best, and left.
Even though I was beyond upset at having to leave before I coaxed it
to open its wings for a photo, and before I got to see it fly away, I
did giggle all day at the memory of watching it emerge. It was worth
raising it to watch that happen!
This page took all morning to make, and that's just cropping the
photos and making the page. I have other sulphur pictures to post, but
I'm sure I won't get to them all this weekend because I HAVE to do
housework! Stay tuned for updates.