Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalis - How to Reattach If It Falls

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Reattach or Glue Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalis

A chrysalis falls and is in danger of not being able to emerge and expand its wings properly.
What do you do? How do you reattach or glue it?

how to reattach a swallowtail butterfly chrysalis pupa when it falls
1. Place a good size glob
of hot glue down
allow to partially cool

how to reattach a swallowtail butterfly chrysalis pupa when it falls
2. Place the chrysalis in
the partially cooled glue
NOT in still-hot glue

how to reattach a swallowtail butterfly chrysalis pupa when it falls
3. Turn the chrysalis upside
down to emerge if possible
or where it can crawl up
when it emerges
A chrysalis or pupa can be hot glued to a paper towel or other object. There are two dangers with a hot glue gun; first is not allowing the glob of glue to cool somewhat (burning it) and second is the danger of gluing it shut, so that the butterfly cannot emerge. To avoid burning the chrysalis, simply wait a few seconds for the glue to emerge. Try waiting about ten to fifteen seconds - it should be cool enough by then. You can check the temperature of the glue by touching the back of the paper towel. If it becomes too cool and the chrysalis won't stay in the glue, no problem. Simply add another glob of glue and don't wait quite as long this time!

After the chrysalis has been glued and the glue totally hardened, turn the paper towel upside down. Attach it in a box or container. Place paper towels on the bottom and along the sides of the box if the container is glass or plastic. The butterfly will need something to crawl up IF it falls after emerging. It will need gravity to expand its wings properly.

The chrysalis can be glued or hung in any direction as long as it is not glued shut. (See photo and more information below.)

how to reattach a swallowtail butterfly chrysalis pupa when it falls
1. If you choose to use a stick
place the glue on the stick
allow to partially cool

how to reattach a swallowtail butterfly chrysalis pupa when it falls
2. Place the chrysalis in
the partially cooled glue
NOT in still-hot glue

how to reattach a swallowtail butterfly chrysalis pupa when it falls
Do NOT glue this way
upside down
or it will probably die

A chrysalis can be glued to a stick or any object. If the chrysalis or object is wet, the glue may not hold. Allow both the chrysalis and the object to totally dry before gluing. The butterfly will always emerge from the chrysalis at the same point. Behind its thorax are 'fracture lines' where the chrysalis cracks open as the butterfly pushes back against it. If this point is glued shut, the butterfly will not be able to emerge. The butterfly chrysalis at the above right is glued improperly to illustrate what we mean.

If you have glued a chrysalis upside down, gluing it shut, simply wait for the glue to totally harden and cool. GENTLY wiggle and lift the chrysalis free of the glue and reglue it properly. Many of us glue one improperly when we are busy talking and working fast and we simply pull it loose and reglue it.