Pupae Flaws Equal Adult Deformities

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Study of Flaws or Deformities in Monarch Pupae

Monarch pupae flaws often reveal what flaws will be evident in the adult butterfly. Recognizing the parts of a Monarch chrysalis and noticing that these parts were sometimes damaged raised our curiosity. We selected flawed chrysalises, photographed each one separately, emerged each one separately, and compared the adult Monarch butterfly to the photograph of the flawed chrysalis.
The photos on the left are the chrysalises of the adult Monarch butterflies on the right.
(Click on any photo for a larger image.)

Leg Deformities
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#226 pupa
Leg missing
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#226 adult
Leg totally missing
Adult butterfly fell when it emerged
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#10 pupa
Tarsus of right leg missing
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#10 adult
Tarsus of right leg missing
The adult is unable to hold on with its leg
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#11 pupa
Tip of tarsus of right leg missing
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#11 adult
Hooks on tarsus (tarsal claws) of left leg missing
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#A pupa
Tarsus of left leg missing
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#A adult
Tarsus of left leg missing


Split Proboscis

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity split proboscis

#56 pupa
Split proboscis possible
Monarch adult butterfly deformity split proboscis

#56 adult
Split proboscis
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity split proboscis

#475 pupa
Possible split proboscis
Monarch adult butterfly deformity split proboscis

#475 adult
Split proboscis
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity split proboscis

#H pupa
Possible split proboscis
Monarch adult butterfly deformity split proboscis

#H adult
Split proboscis


Adult Monarch butterflies emerged visually without flaw from these slightly to moderately damaged pupae.
We did not use a microscope to examine the emerged adults.

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#125 pupa
No visible flaw in adult
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#82 adult
No visible flaw in adult


Wing Flaws in Monarch Pupae

In most cases, we have found that a puncture at the farm is due to the cremaster of one pupa piercing the pupa of another.
The usual result is that the pupa dies.
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#471 pupa
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#471 adult
Cut in wing that matches the cut in the pupa
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#519 pupa
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#519 adult
Dent in pupa caused light spot on wing


Thorax Flaws in Monarch Pupae

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#403 pupa
Dent in top of thorax
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#403 adult
Dent in top of thorax
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#17 pupa
Dent in top of thorax
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#17 adult
Dent in top of thorax
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#431 pupa
Dent in top of thorax
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#431 adult
Dent in top of thorax


Other Flaws in Monarch Pupae

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#405 pupa
Face damage
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#405 adult
Head of Monarch did not pull loose from the pupal shell
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#406 pupa
Antenna damage
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#406 adult
Antenna and leg fused and deformed
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#475 pupa
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#475 adult
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#458 pupa
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#458 adult
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#458 adult


Curved Monarch Pupae

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#407 pupa
Curved pupa
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#407 adult
Wings on concave side shorter
Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#407 adult
Body of Monarch curved


Antennae in Monarch Pupae

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#473 pupa
Antennae flaw
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#473 adult
Left Antenna shorter


Major Deformity in Monarch Pupae

Monarch butterfly pupa deformity

#504 pupa
Major Deformity
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#504 adult
Major Deformity
Monarch adult butterfly deformity

#504 adult
Major Deformity