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Old Sep 25, 2012, 1:32 AM   #1
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Default Monarch Butterfly Hatching

I had kept this chrysalis for about a week when it hatched. I didn't expect it for another several days, so I was not as prepared as I should have been. Last Friday morning, the green shell turned transparent and the butterfly inside was visible, so I knew it was close. I looked away for just a minute and I missed the moment it emerged from the shell, but I manage to capture the rest of the process.

This is the generation of the Monarchs that spends the winter at one of their wintering colonies in California. Next spring, he will fly to the Rockies and mate and die. His children and grandchildren will migrate through out the western US and Canada, and his great-grandchild will return here next fall to start the cycle all over again.


#1 Just seconds after emerging from shell




#2 Over the next several minutes, the wings continue to stretch out and dry




#3 I did not know that they are born with two proboscis (mouth straw). As soon as they hatch the two section start to fuse together and they end up with one large proboscis.




#4 After about an hour, the wings are almost completely stretched out and dry, although he did not fly away for nearly two more hours.




#5 Close up of his face.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 2:31 AM   #2
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Great series Saly. Very interesting and informative.
Thanks for sharing the moment.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 7:42 AM   #3
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Great work Saly, thanks for sharing.

jj
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 10:26 AM   #4
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How remarkable to capture this, Saly! They truly are so beautiful, I've only seen a few here.

Fantastic photos, as always!
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Thanks Steve, Jim and Carol! A friend found several of these chrysalis in a yard so she gave me one because she knows that I like to photograph these things. I wish I had captured the moment it came out, but that happened in a blink of an eye. But I'm amazed to find about the proboscis, I didn't know about that part until now.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saly View Post
I looked away for just a minute and I missed the moment
To me, it happens when, very occasionally, I have to watch the boiling milk. I always tend to look away the moment it spills!

Sorry to drag away from the subject. Very nice photos of the emerging butterfly, Saly! I suppose they are born full size - I mean, they don't grow after coming out of the cocoon. Or do they?

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Old Sep 25, 2012, 1:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu View Post
To me, it happens when, very occasionally, I have to watch the boiling milk. I always tend to look away the moment it spills!

Sorry to drag away from the subject. Very nice photos of the emerging butterfly, Saly! I suppose they are born full size - I mean, they don't grow after coming out of the cocoon. Or do they?

Raghu
You are so right about boiling milk!!! That happens instantly too.

Yes, the butterflies are born full size, or at least they stretch out to full size within 2 to 3 hours after hatching. Then they fly away.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 3:40 PM   #8
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Amazing
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 10:14 PM   #9
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Amazing
Thank you!
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