As of today, three of the caterpillars have gone on to become chrysalises. I was lucky enough to watch one go from the hanging "J" formation to becoming a chrysalis. She began to contract and expand, pushing from the inside out. It looked painful and this part lasted for awhile. But once the skin parted and began to shed from the bottom up, it took just seconds to transform into a gorgeous lime-green new creation complete with beads of gold. At this time the caterpillar actually turns into a liquid mass and totally transforms miraculously into a different being.
The other seven continue to eat, explore their surroundings, disappear for awhile (just to get me into a panic, I am sure) and even climb on the walls of the house before returning to the milkweed. One of them is giant!
|Hanging in a "J" formation|
|Skin shedding for the last time|
|Freshly formed chrysalis|
|Beautiful gold trim|
|A big one!|