Amazing Metamorphosis II

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1 Amazing Metamorphosis II Run Time: 12:25 Turn up your volume

2 A Photo Essay Of The Life Cycle of the Amazing Butterfly A James Norman Price Production November 19, 2003 Updated December 14, Vers.6.3

3 The Queen butterfly visits the milkweed for nectar and to lay her eggs. The eggs are pearly, oblong in shape, and have longitudinal ridges.

4 The Queen caterpillar grows to about two inches in length, and has a distinct pattern of black, yellow and white rings.

5 The Queen caterpillar also boasts three pairs of tubercles (fleshy, filament like projections). Since the Queen and the Monarch butterflies share the same milkweed host plant, this extra set of tubercles is a easy way to tell the difference between the Queen and her cousin, the Monarch caterpillar. Queen Caterpillar Monarch Caterpillar

6 Caterpillars can increase to 27,000 times their original size in a very short time, and they will shed their skin (called an instar), 5 times during this rapid growth period.

7 These caterpillars are voracious eating machines. Just a few of them can completely strip the leaves off of a four-foot tall Milkweed plant in less than a day, while leaving a trail of milkweed droppings behind.

8 After it has had it s fill of Milkweed leaves and grown to it s necessary size, the caterpillar finds a nice safe spot to begin it s final instar and transformation to a chrysalis.

9 The caterpillar spins a safety belt to hold itself upside down, and positions itself into a J formation in preparation for this process.

10 The caterpillar remains in this inverted position for approximately 24 to 48 hours. (time will vary with temperature & weather conditions)

11 As the caterpillar approaches the time when it will become a chrysalis, it will begin to loose its luster, and the tubercles will wither and droop.

12 The final instar is when the chrysalis begins forming. It will begin forming on the lower bottom of the caterpillar just above it s primary tubercles.

13 The chrysalis begins forming from the bottom of the caterpillar and works it s way to the top.

14 As the chrysalis develops, the eyes and tubercles along with the outer skin are pushed upward

15 The caterpillars final instar is almost complete, and is shedding it s skin for the last time.

16 As the chrysalis forms, it twists and turns on it s secure silk support. Notice how the head and tubercles and outer body, have been pushed to the top of the chrysalis.

17

18 It is very important for the new forming chrysalis to twist and turn during this final transformation (instar), because all remnants of it s former self must be removed from it s new shape, to insure that a well formed adult butterfly will emerge in a few days. Notice that the caterpillars head and body (no longer needed) have been discarded and have fallen from the chrysalis.

19 Now the amazing part: Inside this chrysalis the caterpillar s body liquefies as it completely reassembles itself before making its debut as a butterfly. Notice in these photo s, and on the following slide, the faint formation of wings that have already began to form inside this Chrysalis.

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21 The chrysalis stops it s gyrations and the transformation becomes more subtle. The outline and formation of the wings is very evident now.

22 The chrysalis is a beautiful emerald green with gold dots ringing the top.

23 The chrysalis will remain in this form for 6 to 10 days. It will continue to have more pronounced gold accents as it darkens in color.

24 By the 10th to 12th day, The chrysalis turns transparent. This is the sign that the butterfly is about to emerge.

25 The average Monarch chrysalis is approximately 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long.

26 It takes less than a minute for the fledgling Monarch butterfly to completely remove itself from it s old environment.

27 The butterfly pushes open the old chrysalis shell with his legs,

28 emerging head first and straight down from it s old home

29

30 The butterfly emerges with tiny wings and a huge fluid filled abdomen.

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32 As the new butterfly hangs on to it s old home, it begins pumping abdominal fluid through the veins in it wings.

33 The veins that carry fluid from the abdomen to the wings are visible in this photograph. After the wings have fully extended these veins will harden and become the support structure for flight.

34 During this time, the butterfly has no defenses and has no way to protect itself.

35

36 As the fluid flows from the abdomen it fills and enlarges the wings. The wings are soft and damp as the butterfly waits for this process to evolve.

37 The eyes and proboscis (curled feeding tube), are visible in this close up photograph of this fuzzy headed Monarch.

38

39 Now that the wings are developed, the butterfly waits for them to dry.

40

41 The wings have dried, and the new fully adult butterfly flutters it s wings and practices the motions of flight.

42 Flight is new to this butterfly, and it flutters about sporadically searching for an appropriate place to stop, rest it s new wings, and gather the needed strength and energy for it s new life.

43 The metamorphosis is now complete!

44 Just as one Butterfly Generation is completed, a new one begins again:

45 1.The cycle begins when the butterflies mate to fertilize the females eggs. Just as one Butterfly Generation is completed, a new one begins again:

46 Just as one Butterfly Generation is completed, a new one begins again: 2.The female lays her eggs on Milkweed plant, 3. And the eggs hatch into caterpillars. 1.The cycle begins when the butterflies mate to fertilize the females eggs.

47 Just as one Butterfly Generation is completed, a new one begins again: 2.The female lays her eggs on Milkweed plant, 3. And the eggs hatch into caterpillars. 1.The cycle begins when the butterflies mate to fertilize the females eggs. 4. The caterpillar eats the milkweed leaves, grows large, and turns into a chrysalis.

48 Just as one Butterfly Generation is completed, a new one begins again: 2.The female lays her eggs on Milkweed plant, 3. And the eggs hatch into caterpillars. 1.The cycle begins when the butterflies mate to fertilize the females eggs. 4. The caterpillar eats the Milkweed leaves, grows large, and turns into a chrysalis. 5. The adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, and the cycle begins again..

49 The presentation of the caterpillar as it became a chrysalis, was represented in photographs of the Queen caterpillar.

50 The presentation of the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, was represented in photographs of the Monarch butterfly.

51 Interested in attracting your own butterflies? Here is a good place to start. Gardening for Florida s Butterflies By Pamelia F. Traas Great Outdoors Publishing Company St. Petersburg, Florida ISBN: Copyright 1999, 2001

52 Two excellent resources In the Fort Myers area for plants and butterfly gardening

53 This Complimentary PowerPoint Presentation was photographed and produced by James Norman Price, Photographer/Videographer Version 6.3 December 14, 2007

54 Visit The Crooked Garden Website The 12,000 Sq. Ft. Butterfly Garden at Pelican Preserve, located in beautiful Fort Myers, Florida.

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