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Monarch Chrysalis

Monarch Chrysalis
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-20
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
Exposure: f/22, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-27 22:39
Viewed: 6260
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Monarch Chrysalis all Ready to Appear

This is the same chrysalis that I last posted with the tiny caterpillar looking at it. It is now 2 days later.

The caterpillar turns into a pupa (chrysalis), by spinning silk from its spinneret and attaching its hind end to a branch with the silk and small hooks in the anal prolegs. Now it hangs head down and moults for the last time.

When the newly-exposed skin dries and hardens, it takes the form of a jade green cylindrical shaped chrysalis. The monarch remains in its chrysalis for about 10 to 14 days During this stage the caterpillar turns into a butterfly as its entire body is reorganized.

In about 10-12 days the chrysalis darkens and becomes transparent, until it looks like this one – it is nearly black and you can see the dark colours of the butterfly’s wings folded up inside. The transformation happens suddenly, and if you turn away for 20 minutes you will usually come back to find a butterfly.

I was lucky enough to have 3 chrysalises on a pot plant that I was able to bring inside. It has been a wonderful learning experience. I saw the first butterfly emerge last month, and this one here is the third chrysalis. I wore a track in the carpet going to see if the butterfly was on its way, and I think I missed them both by about 2-4 minutes...

The butterfly emerged 4 hours after I took this photo. I wore a track in the carpet going to see if the butterfly was on its way, and I think I missed it by about 2-4 minutes...

PS I used a tripod - again!! Just added this to my notes...

goldyrs, elizabeth, robindb, eng55, bobcat08, vral, siggi, uleko, Argus, bikefifty has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To elizabeth: ThxJanice 3 01-28 22:32
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Critiques [Translate]

Indeed a very nice experience, for you learning it first hand, and for us, learning it through you, Janice. This is a first for me, in terms of even looking at a shot of a chrysalis.
Thanks so much for the share.

Nice shot. They are certainly fascinating to watch. Back in my days of film I spent about 30 rolls of Velvia recording the life cycle of the Monarch. The thing to watch for here is when the top of the Chrysalis gets two 'pleats' then you know the final moult is imminent.

Have you photographed the moults during the caterpillar stage? The 4th one is particular interesting as by then the caterpillar is quite large and the changes more easily observed.


Hi Janice,

Well photographed but also a nice experience that you shared with us. Nature is truly remarkable.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-01-28 0:39]

Hi Janice,
Beautiful capture again.Well caught and composed.Excellent note too!
Thanks for posting.

Hi Janice,

You can see now the colors of the wing. Razorsharp shot. But you have a created a good situation by take them in the house. Nice shot.
I believe it was a wonderful learning experience for you.

Regards and TFS BOB

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-01-28 1:40]

Perfect shot,Janice!
Sharpness,details and colors are marvellous. TFS

hello Janic
beautiful picture
very good details
you can see the butterfly
great shot
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • vral Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 1 N: 218] (1049)
  • [2009-01-28 2:52]

Hello Janice,
Fantastic macro of this Chrysalis with details and colors. Focus and flash are well balanced. It would've been a great experience to see its emergence also.
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-01-28 2:52]

Hello Janice.Brilliant shot.
The details of the monarchs wings can be clearly seen.
A fantastic, a very interesting capture.
Thanks for posting.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-01-28 3:45]

Janice, Great shot with such a lovely focussed sharp pictured. Beautiful shot with superb composition. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-01-28 3:50]

Hello Janice,
Interesting to see the chrysalis at this stage as it is shortly about the burst open. Excellent focus showing details of the butterfly wing and the beautiful dark colours.
Well done!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

Excellent capture. Good detail, composition. Very well done.
Best wishes,

This series is wonderful Janice! I like this kind of studio shot a lot. The grey background is perfect to show us this chrysalis superb sharp detail. The transparency is wonderful as we can see the future Monarch's wing it all its glory! Nature is really amazing and you show it perfectly to us by this beautiful capture. It is always funny to see how our countries are at the opposite, literally! When it is a little “chilly” at + 24 (which is hot for me) here is the opposite ;) Greetings from the North!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-28 12:11]

Hello Janice,
A superb capture of a Monarch pupa just before ir is going to emerge. The details of the developed butterfly are well seen with great sharpness and lighting.
It looks like this monarch series is going to be a collage some day :))! If so I shall look forward to seeing it.

Hello Janice,
You can already see the wing very well.
Fascinating pupa.
Well done

Ciao Janice, splendid macro, we can see monarca's wing with wonderful colors, good sharpness, perfect focus and great blurry BG, very well done, ciao Silvio


Besides the very unique subject, what I like about this shot is the use of a flash with out the flash overpowering the picture. It is clear what is inside. I hope can get a new carpet soon.

Hope you are having a great summer.


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