Coloration of Sulpher Chrysalis

gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)December 24, 2013

My small Senna bicapsularis 'Worley's Butter Cream' bush has attracted the attention of Sulphur butterflies this year. I am aware the cats are yellow if they feed on flowers and greenish for foliage, although currently the flowers are gone and the yellow cats really stand out against the green leaves!

I have seen photos of the chrysalis varying in color from green to pinkish. One I found on the bush is very green and blends in; another on a Phormium 'Guardsman' is quite reddish. So I was wondering, does the location of the chrysalis also help to determine the color or was it just a coincidence?

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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

(Because it is easier to just upload from the PC, I had to put this photo in a separate post.)

The prep stage lasted for several days, and I was beginning to worry. But as you can see above, it resulted in a lovely-colored one!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 12:36AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Many species of butterfly chrysalis camouflage to match their background attachment. Colder temperatures can make the chrysalis and caterpillars darker in color so that they can absorb more heat. I've seen the butterflies that emerging in colder temps also taking a darker color on their wings.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 11:11AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

What a beautiful chrysalis! I've had green ones, yellow ones, and pink ones, but never one that dark!

I agree, it's most likely the cooler weather that made it so dark, but it might be the background, too - the only white variegated frit chrsyalides I've had pupated on the underside of a white paper towel.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:46PM
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