Photos and Text by Fred Sgrosso

Well, after many long days of waiting, my new addition made its presence known after 14 days in the chrysalis. She appeared around 6 A.M., but I got up at 7A.M., so I missed the beginning of the action. I had checked at 4:30 A.M., but all was quiet. So I was not prepared for the beautiful vision that awaited me that very wet and dreary morning. There was nothing dreary about my Monarch. She was a beauty and so was the second one, if I do say so myself. Number two Monarch emerged the same day that Hurricane Floyd visited us. She spent 13 days in the chrysalis. Funny how both Monarchs were born on rainy days. Number two broke the chrysalis while I grabbed a bite for lunch. I stayed up all night to get the magic moment of just when the chrysalis cracked, and I missed it again by seconds! I have to say that the emergence takes place very rapidly. In seconds she pulled free of her cocoon and started to pump up her wings. That went fast. The wings drying out phase takes hours. Because it was so dark, gloomy, and cool, this butterfly seemed more lethargic than #1. I had to hold her an extra day (two days total) because of the winds after the storm. The following photos document her emergence.


Emerging Monarch butterfly and chrysalis
Monarch #2 emerging from chrysalis.

Note the short wings as the Monarch emerges. Remember that the chrysalis is only a bit over 1 inch long. This is a little butterfly for a few seconds.

Monarch butterfly#2 and chrysalis
Monarch #2 Drying its Wings. Photo taken with natural light.
This photo was taken probably a minute after the photo above. The wings have grown to full size. She stays this way for a few hours drying her wings.

Monarch butterfly and chrysalis
Monarch #1 on Gerbera Daisy after she left the chrysalis.



    Monarch butterfly #2

    Monarch #2 resting on purple Butterfly Bush. 

    Monarch butterfly #2

    Monarch #2 resting.

    Photo with Canon A2 and 100-300 Canon zoom with close up lens, and built in flash. Some photos were taken with multiple external strobes. Film was Fuji Superia 400, and Kodak GoldMax 400 color print film.

Page updated on 10/10/99

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