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Here you will find


Photos and Text by Fred Sgrosso

This saga is the story and images that occur between the "J" state and the forming of the chrysalis.

My 1999 Monarch caterpillars took around 12 hours to go from the "J" to the chrysalis. My 2000 model took 19 hours for #1 and 15 hours for #2 to do the same job. I must say that the wait was worth it. You would have to see it to believe it. The first indication of something new going to occur is when the caterpillar straightens out from his 18 hours of assuming the "J" state. Just prior to that point the caterpillar was expanding and contracting like a bellows. Then the caterpillar actually seems to dissolve right in front of your eyes. The skin splits just behind the head and the old skin is pulled upwards as the whole creature twists and turns. The shed skin looks like a black mesh and finally is twisted into a yarn like shape . It finally falls off when the skin is at the very top of the chrysalis, leaving a very light green misshapen mass that somewhat resembles a chrysalis. This all takes place in about two minutes. The splitting and shedding of the skin took seconds. I thought that my eyes had gone bad, as I was looking through the viewfinder.

Below is an animation consisting of 12 still images taken over that short time frame. The animation repeats indefinitely. It is a small, low quality image in order to make the page load more quickly.

Thanks Ken, Carolyn, and Madeline for the babies.

Transforming from a caterpillar to a chrysalis

Animation İFred Sgrosso 2000

Floating script available at: http://dynamicdrive.com

Brahms Midi sequenced by Atyim.

Photos taken with Canon A2 and 100-300 Canon zoom with close up lens. All photos were taken in daylight. Film was Kodak GoldMax 400 color print film.

Page updated on 15Nov00

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