Friday, July 1, 2016
QUEEN BUTTERFLY METAMORPHOSIS COMPLETE
This is how the chrysalis looked at 6:30 this morning. It is the very dark pod-like shape in the middle of the photo. The chrysalis had turned black over night. (See previous post from 6.24.16 on the early stage of the chrysalis, when it was celadon green in color.)
I returned a little after 8am and found the Queen butterfly (Danaus gilippus) hanging on the desert milkweed (Asclepias subulata) just outside the broken through translucent chrysalis.
About every 30 minutes the butterfly opened its wings. And, then closed them quickly! This is the one photo I was able to get.
Butterfly is climbing up the branch. She sat on the plant until about 12:30pm and then just took off.
I found the caterpillar in a J shape, hanging from the milkweed stem in the evening of June 23. The next morning hung the completed chrysalis in the same location. The butterfly emerged July 1st for about eight days of metamorphosis.
Different plants are used by different kinds of butterflies for the metamorphosis. Please consider planting native plants in your yard that are used by butterflies in your ecosystem.