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HOW TO TELL
WHEN YOUR CATERPILLAR
IS ABOUT TO PUPATE
INTO A CHRYSALIS.
All photographs on this website were taken by Edith at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm.
To receive permission to use any of these copyright protected photos, please contact Edith at Shady Oak.
When the caterpillar first 'J's it is a tight 'J'
Shortly before pupating, the 'J' becomes very loose
At first the antennae are smooth
Click on photo to see antannae clearly
Close to pupation, the antennae look ragged
The rear of the caterpillar has a
smooth curve when it first 'J's
Closer to pupating, the rear of the caterpillar
has dropped down and the skin is very loose
A few minutes before the caterpillar pupates, it starts to move in an accordion or concertina motion.
At this point, stay close! The skin will split just behind its head and it will continue to move and work its skin up toward its feet. Look at the following photos.
The black cremaster must be slipped out from underneath the skin and grab onto the silk mat the caterpillar is holding onto.
A closer look at the cremaster and silk mat.
The caterpillars skin is discarded like an old sock thrown on the floor.
The new chrysalis is so soft it will shape itself to anything it is touching. This chrysalis was touching a plastic container with the letter D on it.
A close look at the mat the caterpillar has made with silk.
Filmed on video and photographed by camera, we can see better than with our own eyes!