Bad Timing

So remember when I said Chubs would stay in his J for 24 hours?  Yeah, I was wrong.  It was almost exactly 12.

When I woke up this morning, he was looking pretty rough.  His antennas were all ragged and I knew he would be changing earlier than expected, and figured I’d probably be at work when it happened.  So I decided to finish getting ready and snap a few pictures quick before I left.  I was gone for maybe 5 minutes and this is what I came back to:

Yup, in those few minutes I was gone, Chubs went and pupated.  And I missed it.  Why couldn’t he have held out for just a few more minutes!?  Or pupated when I checked on him!?  Frustrating… I’ll have to see if I can get a second caterpillar and try again.

I love that you can already see his little wings growing!! But what you can’t see in the picture is how active he is right now.  That green pupa is seriously moving.  Over the next few hours, that funny-looking pupa will harden into the green chrysalis normally associated with monarchs.

Oh, and one more thing.   Monarchs don’t spin a cocoon around themselves.  That green pupa comes from inside the caterpillar.  As in, starting at the head, the caterpillar skin is split open, and the pupa squirms and wriggles until the skin is free and falls to the ground.  Here’s what I’ve dubbed the “Chubs Suit”:

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