This beautiful caterpillar last night tucked itself and hung from a Desert Milkweed stem and this morning . . .
. . . I found this chrysalis! The chrysalis is right in the middle of the photo. The orange tint is coming from within the chrysalis. Notice how the chrysalis mimics the milkweed pods and the color of the plant itself. It is absolutely beautiful!
I found four small caterpillars on the plant on June 19th. They grew quickly as they ate constantly up and down the milkweed stems and flowers. Yesterday evening only one remained and had started its transformation.
Find out what the native milkweed is for your area and plant one. The butterfly lays its eggs on the milkweed and the newly hatched caterpillars eat the leaves along the stems. So do not be alarmed if your plant looks a bit bare! The leaves will come back and the milkweed will not be harmed. And, you may be fortunate to have the complete metamorphosis!