Monday, June 28, 2010

Transformation Complete

Early this morning, I made a fun discovery.  One of my Dill-fed Black Swallowtails had recently emerged from its brown chrysalis.  Hanging upside down just a few inches from it (visible in the lower left), the butterfly slowly flexed its wings.

The now empty chrysalis was perfectly camouflaged, appearing as a small dead branch off the main stem.  It has two small threads that allow it to lean out from the stem enhancing the twig-like appearance.

The butterfly stayed in this position for quite some time as its wings completed their expansion and hardened.

When the sun reached a height that allowed scattered light to penetrate through to the swallowtail's location, the butterfly crawled up on top of the leaves, spreading its wings, catching more of the sun.

Eventually, it made its maiden flight, flitting about in a wide circle, gaining height until it landed higher on a sunlit Live Oak branch.  There it stayed for quite some time, wings spread, basking.  Later, an upward glance found an empty branch as the swallowtail had begun its adult life.

1 comment:

  1. Perfect timing on this post! I spotted a chrysalis just like this on a bromeliad this morning, and I was going to look it up to see what kind of butterfly might emerge. Now I know! Thanks!