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Monarch Chrysalis time to eclose?

Posted by tackysue FL (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 31, 08 at 8:57

The chrysalis that I posted a week or so ago has turned dark and I can see the wings through the skin of the chrysalis. Thing is, I am wondering what's the normal amount of time until the butterfly emerges? I'm concerned that a week is too long judging by what I'm reading. I'm not seeing any excessively dark coloring or long strings coming out of it. Nothing to indicate it's sick or diseased, it's just not coming out.

Should I place the chrysalis outside? We've had some unusually cold nights here in Florida this last week and our home was chilly (60s) but not frosty. The chrysalis only gets a few hours of direct sunlight at the moment. Do Monarchs overwinter?

Suggestions welcomed.

Oh, and I had to freeze a cat I had been keeping, again. It was definately Black Death. Poor dude. I found another one that died before pupating of the same thing on my pool screen. Luckily, though, the other chrysalises around the yard seem to be ok. And I've sterilized ALL the cages I've been using as well as all the floral water holders. I read how bad that stuff is.


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RE: Monarch Chrysalis time to eclose?

Tackysue,

I have found that the later in the year, the longer it takes for the monarchs to emerge from the chrysalis. They do not overwinter as chrysalids: they migrate to Mexico. I have had them take up to 14 days to emerge, but it was much cooler than it is right now. They need temps to be at least 55 degrees before they can fly. I generally keep my cages indoors and release the butterflies when they emerge. Exceptions being the swallowtails that overwinter as chrysalids, don't want them to get confused and emerge in the dead of winter (such as we have here in Houston)!

So sorry to hear about having to euthanize a caterpillar. My heart breaks every time that happens to me. That black death (aka OE Spore) is bad stuff. Sounds like you are on top of things since you sterilized all your equipment. If you used bleach (recommended) and are at all concerned that some bleach residue might remain, place the sterilized items in direct sunlight for a few hours, sunlight dissipates bleach (think swimming pools, they have to constantly add chemicals to the water for this reason).

I try to sterilize my cages after the butterflies have all emerged, problem is sometimes the food I bring in for the existing cats has new eggs and next thing I know, I have a whole new batch of babies!

Good luck!

Mechelle


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