PHOTOPAGE 410

 

August 2010

How Milkweed becomes a butterfly in 22 days:

One of those epiphanous moments of insight came while watching, over a period of three weeks, the pinhead sized egg, laid by an adult Monarch butterfly at the park, become a next generation adult Monarch butterfly on an exclusive diet of Milkweed. In my reverie, the 'code' in the egg transformed the Milkweed and allowed it to fly as a butterfly. Nearly all life above ground, as far as we know, is a transformation of our Sun's energy through the action of photosynthesis. Our consumption of photosynthesized compounds be they from plant or animal provides the energy we need to live. Milkweed was all that the larva needed to grow and transform.We are what we eat? 

8-10 canal burdock rz.jpg (451718 bytes)

410.11 

8-10 canal dragonfly ps rz.jpg (426252 bytes)

410.12 Dragonfly on Pinkweed 

8-14 canal iris blades ps crop rz.jpg (299445 bytes)

410.13 Iris Blades 

   

8-10 canal monarch ps rz.jpg (367919 bytes)

410.1 Monarch   

8-25 canal asiatic dayflower 2 ps rz.jpg (387743 bytes)

410.14 Asiatic Dayflower

 

8-16 canal teasel ps aniso rz.jpg (390495 bytes)

410.2 Teasel 

8-10 canal ironweed ps rz.jpg (450936 bytes)

410.20 Ironweed

8-16 canal butterfly 2 buckeye ps rz.jpg (473185 bytes)

 

410.3 Buckeye

8-10 canal goatsbeard aniso duo rz.jpg (225282 bytes)

410.15 Goatsbeard

8-16 canal rose leaves ps rz.jpg (279186 bytes)

410.4 Multiflora Rose Leaves

8-16 canal blue butterfly 2 ps rz.jpg (510982 bytes)

410.5 Red Spotted Purple 

8-10 canal butterfly on goldenrod ps rz.jpg (393251 bytes)

410.16 Hairstreak on Goldenrod

8-16 canal groundnut blossoms on hand ps rz.jpg (394844 bytes)

 410.6 Groundnut Blossoms 

8-10 canal mating milkweed bugs ps rz.jpg (294422 bytes)

410.17 Mating Milkweed Bugs

8-25 canal sumac leaves 3 ps rz.jpg (426342 bytes)

410.7 Staghorn Sumac 

8-18 canal pokeweed 3 PS crop rz.jpg (266681 bytes)

410.8 Pokeweed

8-16 canal pea blossom 3 PS rz.jpg (235845 bytes)

 410.18 Wild Pea

8-16 canal dragonfly 4 ps rz.jpg (344453 bytes)

410.9 Dragonfly on Loosestrife 

Below is the sequence I recorded - from the egg being laid on the leaf to the emergence of the Monarch butterfly in 22 days.

8-10 canal blue vervain ps rz.jpg (268614 bytes)

410.10 Blue Vervain  

8-10 canal milkweed seed 2 ps rz.jpg (495436 bytes)

410.19 Milkweed Seed

 

8-10-10

8-18-10

8-22-10

8-23-10

8-25-10

8-25-10

*

9-1-10

8-10 canal monarch laying egg ps rz.jpg (615928 bytes) 8-18 canal monarch caterpillar rz.jpg (168288 bytes) 8-22 canal monarch caterpillar rz.jpg (209134 bytes) 8-23 canal monarch caterpillar j form rz.jpg (193338 bytes) 8-23 canal monarch caterpillar chrysallis rz.jpg (200624 bytes) 9-1 monarch 2 rz.jpg (147289 bytes)

monarch chrysalis clear.jpg (259658 bytes)

9-1 monarch c rz.jpg (179901 bytes)

On 8/10, a pinhead sized egg is laid on a Milkweed leaf -  on 8/16, a barely visible larva (caterpillar) emerges and begins eating - by 8-18 the caterpillar is one half inch long - by 8/22 the caterpillar is two inches long - 8/23 the caterpillar ascends a twig and affixes (glues) itself there - On 8/25 a chrysalis forms, shown here early and several hours later -  On 9/1 the transformation is complete, butterfly emerges.

* this translucent chrysalis is from a later example and used because I missed the first one.

   

 
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