The other night in the kitchen as we were cleaning up after dinner, I came across a small green caterpillar on the counter. It must have come from some of our produce. I immediately wanted to photograph it and get it under the scope. But also, it was late, I had just washed a bunch of dishes and I was feeling lazy so I put it in a mason jar with the intention of dealing with it the next day.
When I picked up the jar the next morning I didn’t see the small green caterpillar. I thought maybe it had escaped. Or maybe the little rascal had pupated! I opened the lid and my suspicions were confirmed. A beautiful little green chrysalis was attached to the lid.
Let’s get oriented. Below you can see that this pupae is upside down on the lid. It created a sling out of silk in order to stabilize and attach itself to the lid. That’s the dorsal side (back) of the thorax and the wings will form wrapped around the front of the body.
The main point of attachment is at the rear of the insect. It is called the cremaster. It’s a little bundle of hooks coming off of the abdomen.
Movie back up the body, we can clearly see the abdominal spiracles, the little black dots on the sides! These are like insect nostrils.
The dorsal side of the pupa has some really beautiful coloration and microstructure. As it matures, the colors will change. I will make sure I take pics to update its progress!
Can you guess what kind of butterfly is going to emerge from this chrysalis? Leave your guess in the comments!