Friday, August 31, 2007

Foiled by a Morphing Caterpillar

We have one more caterpillar-butterfly hatching to observe. Seems like this is our last one for the season, as 1) I can't find any more eggs; and 2) It needs to be 55 degrees or warmer for the release, and since it is Minnesota and the cycle takes roughly one month time is of the essence. Geez-it could be snowing here in a month!

So this time with probably the last chrysalis, the aspect that I am interested in is how exactly the caterpillar, hanging in a "J" shape, morphs into a chrysalis? So when Tyler went into J, I was determined to see this transformation and capture it. I took some photos of the J at night, then in the morning, trying to see if he looked different. The one in the evening has more distinct yellow in the stripes in the body (not the head). The one the next morning is duller greenish throughout, with still the black stripes.
Came back upstairs a couple hours later, and wham! done. Shucks, well, there's always next year...