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How to tell when your butterfly
is about to emerge as an adult from its chrysalis.
Before your butterfly emerges, the wings will show through the chrysalis skin.
If your chrysalis turns brown or black, without showing wing color, in most instancdes it means it died or is dying from disease, predator, parasite, or chemical.
The chrysalis will be its normal color for several days to several weeks, depending upon species and time of year.
The outer skin of the chrysalis will become transparent over a day's time. It will look as if it is wrapped in clear glass or plastic wrap.
Shortly before it emerges, the chrysalis starts to look as if the plastic wrap has become wax paper.
It will become cloudy as the butterfly separates its skin from the chrysalis shell.
Three stages of development of a Monarch chrysalis.
The butterfly emerges from the shell upside down, its abdomen swings down, and it slowly pumps blood into its wings to expand them to full size. At this time, the wings are as soft as a wet sheet. After some time, the wings dry and the adult butterfly will fly away.