"Preparation For Pupation"

Watch and observe closely as the  caterpillar, having finished the "anchor", crawls  forward  till it feels the holdfast midway up its body, turns around, and proceeds to inser his hind claspers fimly into the silk "holdfast".

The drama continues as gradually, one by one, the caterpillar lets itself drop. Now it is  hanging in a "J" shape entirely dependent on the secure hold of the hind claspers.




"Preparation For Pupation" A closeup in detail.

Below is a close up sequence of the cremaster being being inserted into the silk hold-fast. The pupa twists its hook securly into the  "button" after which the old skin drops away.

It is now time for a feat few people are aware of but one which is commonplace in a world where fact is often stranger than fiction. The problem: The caterpillar has emerged from the old skin but it cannot be released because the hind claspers attached to the silk anchor are in the way. In other words a hind clasper of the catterpillar is attached along with the new chrysalis hook called a cremaster. Somehow, the cremaster must be extracted and reinserted into the chrysalis silk anchor while, at the same time, using the now dead caterpillar clasper as an anchor.  This would seem to be a dilemna but the solution is far older than we have been around to address it. As seen in the photos, the pupa extracts the cremestar from the anchor and immediatly twists and turns to reinsert it firmly into the silk. Then, as the twisting continues, the clasper is relinquished and the skin falls away. Note: on a dry chrysalis the small black dots near the top are scars from the larval claspers.





  plainblue_new.gif  Next, see the chrysalis as the butterfly develops within.  >>>

The Egg: Germ of a new life.

Caterpillar: A time of growth

Chrysalis: A time of change.

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