Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Miracle Monarch Pupation

Here's an interesting story for you.  One of my recent caterpillars in the 3rd Wave was about to pupate.  He was in the J Shape.  For some reason, he fell from his silk pad.  There was no way for me to reattach him.  So, I simply laid him in a tuperware bowl to see what would heppen.  My 9 year old son and I had a lively discussion about the possibilities.  I told him it was possible for the caterpillar to successfully pupate even though it's on its side.  Well, to our great surprise and wonderment, that's exactly what happened.  The caterpillar successfully shed his 4th instar skin while lying on his side!  I've only seen this happen one other time when I was raising Monarchs in Georgia.

(Monarch caterpillar pupates while lying on its side!)

One unexpected side effect of this is that his chrysalis stuck to the side of the tuperware bowl.  So, I simply stood up the bowl.  We'll see if the butterfly emerges properly or not.

So, this batch of Monarchs has some interesting butterflies in it.  It will be interesting to see if all 14 chrysalises make it.  We'll keep you posted.

Happy Monarching!!!

Caleb & Janae Warren

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