Sunday, December 19, 2021

Empty Chrysalis


I found this empty butterfly chrysalis on a bush in my yard this week. Click to enlarge.

It has ridges where the butterfly's abdominal segments developed. The little black stem on top is called a cremaster and attaches the chrysalis to a little pad of silk that the caterpillar spins and from which the whole thing hangs. It's impressively strong; it's been through a lot of wind and rain lately and it's still stuck tight.

There were a lot of monarchs on the orange milkweed plants in the yard this year. The chrysalis was only a few feet from where I took this caterpillar's picture. Could be his!

It makes me wonder if the butterfly made it safely south, if it's hanging upside down right now, warm among a thousand others, drowsing is an orange cloud and waiting for spring.

The moral of the story: Plant Milkweed.

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