Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Exit stage five

     A Monarch Butterfly larva goes through 5 instars (developmental stages) before it matures into its adult phase. Perhaps you have even seen an educational video of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.  Equally fascinating but less hyped is the 15 minute process in which the caterpillar becomes the chrysalis.   While archiving old photos yesterday I came across a folder of still photos taken back in 2005 that I intended to make into a video clip one day.  Today was that day. 

Below is the time lapse video that shows how the caterpillar gets from this

To this.

  Here is the video

  One of the more interesting frames of the video occurs about one third of the way through the pupation process, just as the future Monarch's motion goes from springing like a slinky to a vigorous squirming like Houdini escaping a straight-jacket  At this point the skin-shed caterpillar's form is still discernible while the distinctly butterfly parts are taking shape.

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