That one time, when I said that butterfly season was over and I was ready to write about other things? Yeah…. about that.
There are still Monarchs coming out of their chrysalises around here, and after my excitement over a late season butterfly last October I feel really lucky to have seen the late season lifecycle up close and personal… I have noted a pupation length of 14 days in a friend who emerged just this morning. That compares with 8 days in July/August, when temperatures were hot hot hot and day length was long. Science guys… they said temperature and length of daylight influence rate of growth and length of pupation and this has proven anecdotally accurate.
This Monarch is a male- the first I predicted in chrysalis (I learned how to sex a Monarch chrysalis here). On this butterfly you can just barely see the sexy sexing dot through his hindwing, bulging off a black vein, where his lovely smelly pheromones will be produced. He is also rescued; the last 5th instar caterpillar found in the tomato plants when it was nearing time to take them down. They are gone now, but he is here.