The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Photo Friday – Black Swallowtail Chrysalis (Papilio polyxenes asterias)

Something that appeared in the nook between a fence post and a gate door late this summer:

Chrysalis of a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterias)

Chrysalis of a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterias)

It’s the chrysalis of a black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterias). My favourite thing: the delicate line of silk holding the chrysalis in place, at just the right angle. Incredible.

The other thing that amazes me about the pupal stage of any insect is how you can make out the adult-structures-to-be.  Here you can clearly see the wing veins, near the top. On beetles, you can see the legs, antennae, eyes…the whole nine yards. I’d love to know what all the knobby structures at the very tip are going to become – presumably the head etc…

We do see the adult butterflies often in our yard, but I don’t think we’ve ever come across the pupa before.  I’m excited that it’s in a well-protected but accessible space, and dearly hope to witness its emergence in the spring.  Fingers crossed!

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