Birth of a Butterfly

Birth of a Painted Lady Butterfly

This is absolutely amazing. We had five caterpillars and four of them have transformed into butterflies. We’d missed everyone of them until this one. And I almost missed it. I didn’t get the chrysalis breaking open, but I started videoing right after it broke open. Click on the picture to watch the video.

What you’ll see:

  • You’ll first see the antennae coming out
  • You’ll see him pull his two tongues from the chrysalis and curl them up.
  • Notice how curled up and small his wings are.
  • Then he moves from the chrysalis to the netting to extend his wings.
  • The red you see to the right of him is “meconium” from when another butterfly emerged. Butterfly meconium is left over color and unneeded tissues from wing formation.

We got our caterpillars from Insect Lore. It’s been fun to watch the little caterpillars grow into huge caterpillars. Then they formed cocoons around themselves (we missed seeing this happen every time). Then, one by one, they “hatched” into butterflies.

We could release them outside if the temps were above 50 constantly. They’re not yet so they’ll likely spend their whole lives in our netting. Their lifespan is only 2 to 4 weeks.

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2 thoughts on “Birth of a Butterfly

  1. Very neat. Thanks for posting. Can’t wait to show this to Libbey. She just did a whole section on the life of a frog–from tadpole on and is quite the expert on explaining all of that. I know she’ll get a kick out of this, too.

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