Monday, August 23, 2010

Monarch Chrysalis

Not only is it a Chrysalis but it's trimmed with gold. I haven't seen really any Monarchs this year. And I'm surprised to see caterpillars and chrysalises showing up in the milkweed patch.

Here a caterpillar is nibbling the main stem to the leaf. This cuts off the main flow of milky sap that milkweeds get their name for. When the sap hits the air it instantly coagulates into a sticky slime. The sap is sticky enough to kill or glue shut the mouth parts of young caterpillars nibbling on it. Older caterpillars don't have that issue but take this precaution all the same.