What Happens When a Monarch Caterpillar Goes Into Its Chrysalis?

I’m back to tell you some more about what happens when a Monarch caterpillar goes into its chrysalis in the next stage toward becoming a butterfly. When the caterpillar is fully grown, it stops eating and finds a place to hang upside down. It attaches itself to the top of the hotel or a stick if its still in nature. It looks like the letter “J” when it hangs.

This next picture shows 3 different caterpillars in the different stages of going into a chrysalis.

The caterpillars hang in the letter J form for a day or so and then something amazing starts happening. They straighten their bodies out just a little and if you watch very carefully at just the right time, you can see little ripples moving up across their body. They are getting ready to shed their outside layer of “skin”. The “skin” will start to split open down by the head. They are hanging upside down so their head is at the bottom.

The split will get bigger and bigger and you will see more and more of the light green part appear.

Notice how the “skin” is getting all wrinkled up at the top.

Then finally, the bunch of old “skin” they don’t need anymore falls off.

They will wiggle around inside for a little bit and it will get shorter and shorter.

The rings at the top change and the chrysalis becomes smooth.

This is what a finished chrysalis looks like. Notice the gold dots and the gold line. Isn’t it amazing that a caterpillar made that??

The caterpillar is inside the chrysalis now and will be there for around 1 to 2 weeks. You won’t see much happening for a while but a wonderful, amazing transformation is taking place inside! I’ll share another post later of what happens when it’s time for the Monarch butterfly to emerge!