Saturday, 16 August 2014

They're Girls!

Skip and I went on a mini-holiday last Wednesday to Friday to the last LPGA event being sponsored by Wegmans in Rochester, NY. Coincidentally, the butterflies were scheduled to emerge from their chrysalises while we were away. My bug-loving friend, Mike, consented to look after the 'livestock' while we were away.

On Wednesday, the first chrysalis got dark and you could see the furled wings through the clear casing. This is a photo of the second one getting ready to emerge with the empty casing of the first one beside it.
Mike missed the emergence of the first one but was there when the second one came out. He got an amazing video of it but I can't get it to upload. Here's the first one outside, getting ready to fly away. Because of the thicker veining and absence of a black spot on the hind wings, it's a girl.
The second one hatched on Thursday and was also a girl.

The egg on the milkweed leaf I took over to Mike's hatched as well. I told him to look for it developing a black dot on the tip of the egg which indicates that hatching is imminent. Once he knew what to look for, he spotted it easily.
After it hatched, it ate part of the egg casing and started in on the milkweed leaf. He sent me another video which he shot through his microscope. It was pretty exciting.

We got back last night and I picked up the 2 larvae today. We can't really figure out what happened to the other two eggs/larvae that hatched.

I'm hoping to get these two to the pupa stage and will look for more eggs tomorrow.

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