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Monarch chrysalides preparing to eclose

How exciting!

The monarch chrysalides are preparing to eclose.

These two buddies spun their silk pads, went into "j" form, and then pupated into these beautiful chrysalides within half an hour of each other.

We've been finding many monarch caterpillars on our little milkweed plants, with mixed success raising them indoors. Three chrysalides needed to be euthanized because they were a little deformed, a yellowish green color and bumpy. And they were seeping black fluid.

So I've been feeling a little down about the ones that didn't make it.

I've tried to do research, but not quite figuring out if some were affected by tachinid flies or virus.

It was such a wonderful surprise to come home this evening to see these two chrysalides getting darker, and if you look carefully you can see the distinctive orange, black and white colors of the monarch wings. I had to photograph through the mesh hamper they are in because I can't lift the lid, to which they are attached, without disturbing them.

It looks like they will eclose tomorrow, and can be released.

Still keeping fingers crossed that all goes well and that these butterflies will be healthy.

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