A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
The Pupa stage is nearing it's end and the butterfly will soon eclose, so the chrysalis is getting clear and appears dark/black because we are seeing the wet butterfly on the inside squished into the tiny space. The very top of the chrysalis is completely clear and the butterfly must not be occupying about 1-2mm of space there because you can see there is nothing beyond the 'skin' of the chrysalis and can almost see all the way through and out the other side. The wings part of the chrysalis look like they are showing some orange through.
The butterfly is found in open habitats like alfalfa and clover fields, pastures, roadsides, and mountain meadows. The caterpillar had climbed my doorjamb and attached itself to the eaves above the door.
I found the variegated fritillary caterpillar hanging (J-ing) right above my screen door on Thursday November third, getting ready to pupate. Friday he spent the day pupating and Saturday night late at night I carefully detached it and brought it inside (because it is getting cold here and he will eclose sooner inside than outside, giving him a better chance at life). I set it on a black cloth pouch that usually holds some small lenses for a clip on macro lens for a cell phone. He attached himself to that pouch so I have left him there. When my single butterfly enclosure arrived I attached the pouch to the inside of the enclosure and put a stick in there for him to dry his wings on when he emerges. Until then I have been checking on him and taking photos when there are significant changes. I started calling him Mr. Pickles due to the greenish tint of the chrysalis and the bumps on it when it was newly formed. In this first photo you can see my thumbnail for size reference. The third picture is a very close macro from Sunday 11/5/16, a week before the others were taken, as reference for how it looks when it's newly formed.
Spotted on Nov 13, 2016
Submitted on Nov 15, 2016