how to move a chrysalis

emastarSeptember 11, 2007

Hi, Today at work on the side of the building there was a monarch chrysalis. I recognised it because when I was younger I had one of the kits to hatch them. It must have just formed today because the people at my work are neat freaks, and they would have surley nocked it off if they had seen it. It is mounted on a piece of siding, on the building.

The building I work in, is a siding company, they always clean it, like obsessive compulsive. Consittering the siding is grey and the chrysalis is bright green, it really sticks out.

I understand I can remove the chrysalis with a tooth pick, but any sugestions on how to mount it? (I have a tank I can put it in). I know its best to leave it but I guatentee by tomorrow it will be gone if I do. I also saw a site that said to break whatever it is off, and mount the actual material; for example if its on a brantch, break the brantch. They may get mad at me if I cut part of the siding off, so its probally better to remove the actual chrysalis. Just dont know what to mount it on, or what to mount it with (I dont want to use any kind of glue which vapors can carry through the membrane- I was thinking possably mounting it to a wire, with a glue gun- just dip the tip of the wire in the hot glue, waiting for it to cool down alittle, and just before it hardens just attach it to the chrysalis... does that sound good?)


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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

See if you can peel off the silk that is holding the chrysalis to the wall. I am curious if it is a monarch or a BST chrysalis. Both are green. The monarch chrysalis will have a black tip like a wick that will be attached to the wall with a mat of silk. If you can peel this off, you can attach tape to the silky mat and tape the monarch to the top of a container and watch it eclose.

If it is a Black Swallowtail Chrysalis, the chrysalis will be held to the wall with a sling. It's impossible to get the web with the chrysalis, but you can mount the removed chrysalis on a piece of newspaper or paper towel with a tiny bit of glue. I use Tacky glue as it sticks quickly. Then you can tape it on the side of a container. Put a stick in the container so that the butterfly that ecloses can hang on something while it dries out its wings.

I hope you are able to rescue it before the OC people you work with remove it from the wall!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 7:26PM
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I think its a monarch chrysalis from what you described, plus last night I opened the door to come into the building, and as I opened it a monarch flew inside. It was rather small and looked like it recently hatched, so I cought him and let it go outside. I figured there may be more arround somewhere, to my surprize I found this today! Here is a picture of it; I am going to bring it in tonight.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 10:47PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

It's definitely a Monarch! BTW, that's a great picture. At the top of the black "stem" or "wick", you can see the silk holding the chrysalis to the siding. If you can gently pull this to loosen it from the siding, you'll have something to tape to the top of a container lid. A Glad plastic bowl will work great. Or any other plastic container. It doesn't have to be large.

Monarch chrysalis attached to lid of container:

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:37PM
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Hi, just an update: I didnt realize how much silk holds it in place; I have seen pictures of chrysalises before; always wondered how it held in place so securley. It was almost like a web, expanding several inches away from the actual chrysalis, and all the strands go down to the main strand. Anyways, I was going to mount it on a paper towel but I had alot of silk on it so I made a loop with the silk then hooked it onto a wire. It didnt look very secure, so I used the glue I made the loop with, and attached that glue to the wire. Just to ensure its strength, I lowered it into the tank an inch from the bottom for now (incase it does break). Do you think this is a strong bond? Looks good to me, but I am not the expert. Here are some pictures:

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 12:07AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

That should do it. Good work, Emastar, you've rescued a Monarch!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 8:51AM
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sandwhy(z5, Evanston IL)

Wow! Quite a set up there. Monarch chrysalises do not have to hang, however, for them to eclose properly. They just need something rough to climb up on so that is high enough for their wings to hang fully to dry properly! :)

Here's a nifty idea from MonarchWatch:

Kudos to your keen eye for seeing the chrysalis and rescuing it! Good luck!!

Sandy :)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:27PM
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Hi, well he's looking good! Should be hatching any day now, here is the latest picture (hard to see because I didn't want to take it out of the cage which would disturb it) But you can see the orange wing with the black top (upper wing) with white spots on it. I will take more when it hatches!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 2:43AM
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PS. I did moisten the chrysalis a few days ago, and also alittle over a week ago, should I do it again? The room is not particularly dry, but it isnt very humid ethere. I do have to raise the chrysalis (its hanging alittle too low right now) so if I should moisten it, I will do everything together. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 4:41AM
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I was about to call it a day (or a night) and I looked at the chrysalis again, I was surprized how much darker it got in the past few hours. Also he's more visable now, see pic below. I tightened the rope too so its higher from the ground. (I didn't moisten it at all) Interesting though, when I was looking up close, I could actually see a tiney pocket of air move down, so it must be getting tight in there. Will update in the afternoon / early night probally with a butterfly pic!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 10:32AM
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Well last night I was in expecting a hatch but it did not. Here is a pic I took though

This morning when I got in, I figured surley it would hatch my then, and it did!

thanks for the help everyone!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:47AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


What a gorgeous female Monarch! That is one lucky BF to have you take the time to rescue it. Now it can go out and find a mate and lay some eggs and . . . produce a few more BFs.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:24AM
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