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The Butterfly
Soldier Butterfly Caterpillar Danaus eresimus
This tiny pale oval is a soldier butterfly egg. See the darker area at the tip of the egg? That's the caterpillar's head. A few hours after I took that picture it hatched. A small bit of the shell is visible behind the head of the tiny first instar soldier caterpillar:
Soldier Butterfly Egg about to hatch
Here are a few more photos of younger soldier eggs.
First instar newly hatched Soldier Butterfly Caterpillar
As the caterpillar grows and sheds it's skin, it changes bit by bit, until it looks like this fifth instar soldier caterpillar on my thumb. The day after this photograph was taken, this caterpillar made the following chrysalis.
Soldier Butterfly Egg
Very early on the tiny new caterpillars resemble the more mature caterpillars.
This soldier butterfly chrysalis is very similar to a monarch or queen chrysalis.

I'm leaving a bit of space to work with on this page, because the chrysalis is in my living room, and I'm raising a couple of soldier caterpillars so I can get better photographs of them as they grow up.

Danaus eresimus egg
fifth instar Soldier Butterfly Caterpillar crawling under my thumb
Soldier Butterfly, Danaus eresimus, Caterpillars
fifth instar Danaus eresimus caterpillar
Soldier, Danaus eresimus, chrysalis
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