Archive | 10:05 AM

From Larva to Chrysalis

4 Sep

There have been several discrete cohorts of Monarch larvae this late summer probably as a result of different batches of eggs laid.

One group was on four smallish Milkweed plants up back right near where the wood splitting machinery is set up.  I eventually saw six larvae there and moved the last one down to a similar wild milkweed in my garden since oil was dripping on and coating the leaves.

This is one of the first I saw:

One group of at least two were on a tall wild milkweed on the northwest side of the garden.

One group of 5-6 have been on the light-leaved cultivated Asclepias with lighter yellow flowers.  And there are at least two newly hatched small larvae on the red-flowered darker leaved variety of same next door to them.  Both varieties are on the north eastern side of the vegetable garden.

What I have not seen, though, is a chrysalis.  The larvae get fat and large–and then disappear.  Hunting for chrysalises has been futile.  My friend Sue has lots in her insect cage inside from hand reared larvae. But I have been hoping to see one in the wild.

Last night as I was hurriedly removing dry bean pods from plants because the sky got dark and the wind picked up all of a sudden, putting an end to my leisurely bean stripping in situ,  I thankfully saw this in time to not damage it:

How it came to be on a bean plant which was being dried on a bench thirty feet from the garden is interesting to contemplate.  The larva was attached.  So I hung the plant up in the back room and took this photo last night.

This morning it looked the same.  I wondered if maybe I had somehow injured it and if it were dead.  But about 9AM when I checked again, it looked like this:

This photo is magnified for effect.  Fascinating, eh?

And another 45 minutes later:

Complete!  Voila!

Tell me there is no evidence for personal transformation.  Or of one life leading to another.  Evidence refutes you.

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