Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What is the plural of Chysalis?

Chrysalises is grammatically correct but I can't say that without feeling like I'm lisping! Chrysalides is also correct and makes me sound much more like a nature geek~ which, lately, I kind of like. Here is a shot of my numerous Swallowtail chrysalides.

Okay, I realize there is something inherently creepy about the sheer number of butterfly chrysalides here (they even wiggle sometimes!). But I choose to just see the butterfly potential here.

It is kind of cool when they are ready to shed their caterpillar skin for the last time and show off their chrysalis. They make themselves a little strap to keep from falling off the stick. Below are before and after shots.

Finally, my last baby caterpillar is almost ready to form his chysalis~ sniff. I must say that I am kind of relieved though. You wouldn't believe how much these little guys eat! I have almost picked my herb pot clean of parsley. The dill and fennel are long gone. And, as much as I love my creepy critters I'm not heading to the grocery store to buy parsley, dill or fennel!

Then... while aimlessly wandering my yard the other day I found more babies! This time I found monarch butterfly "1st instar" caterpillars on my milk weed! I just know they are grandchildren of my very first monarch, Tootsie Roll!

One more caterpillar tale. Okay, really, this is the last part. I found my dog trying to eat this strange looking guy! (BTW- Dogs will eat anything- that's why you should never let them lick your face!) At first, I thought he was a different variety of swallowtail but after close inspection (the little pointy thing on his butt gave him away) I determined he is a sphinx moth caterpillar. Even though he is really cool I set him free. It seems I've become a butterfly caterpillar snob!

~Amy- the nature geek~


Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying your posts about your caterpillars. Do you keep them until they are butterflies?

The UnStrungSisters - Amy and Erin said...

I'm glad you like my little nature experiment! Yes, I am keeping them until they come out as butterflies. I'll be posting about that this weekend. So far I have had 6, named Tuesday- Saturday.