All the larvae are currently in chrysalis. Now, we wait until the butterflies are ready to emerge.
The same two larvae from yesterday. On the right in front,the larva is hanging in "J". On the left, the larva has just shed it's skin revealing the chrysalis (pupa). Now, all will be quiet on the outside, while inside, a rapid metamorphosis is occurring. The old parts of the caterpillar will transform into the beautiful parts of the butterfly. This process takes about 9 days.
These larvae are spinning a button made of silk. They will then hang in a "J" pattern for several hours before their skin splits and reveals the chrysalis.
This larva has just completed an instar phase. You can see the skin that was shed at the top and the larva is eating it (gross!). Below the larva, just above the paper towel, is its former "face" which was also shed. As I have found these faces before, I don't believe that the larvae eat them.
This larva has just finish going through another instar. Check out the long antennae!All five larvae are looking healthy and are getting huge! We still have a few more days of devouring milkweed before transitioning into the pupal stage.
The eggs hatched one week ago today. Wow! How they have grown! Do you think the larvae are beyond the diameter of the penny now? They are starting to really plow through the milkweed leaves! Just like our children, they grow much too fast! The larvae have about another week of pure eating to do before they enter the next stage in their life cycle.