hatch of the fritillary

last year the hatching of the monarch butterflies rapt my attention.  this year it’s the gulf fritillaries, Agraulis vanillae.

Agraulis vanillae chrysalis

A.vanillae chrysalis on hosebib

A.vanillae chrysalis on concrete

A.vanillae emerge from their chrysali (second in background)

A.vanillae emerges from its well-irrigated chrysalis

A.vanillae rests before its first flight

another A.vanillae (!) emerges from its chrysalis

Agraulis vanillae at rest

first flight of this A. vanillae was hampered by feline curiosity and quickly rescued

surprise! the hindwings of A. vanillae are orange. you're safe in this backyard...

every day i spot more caterpillars and more chrysali, mostly of this same species so far.  i was amazed to learn that the chrysali are phototropic – they move toward or away from the sun depending on their needs – just like plants, who knew?!

i’ve also seen some black swallowtail caterpillars, Papilio polyxenes asterius, but haven’t spied their chrysali yet… so far i’ve only seen one monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, but i’m sure more are soon on the way.  to help track the caterpillars, butterflies and moths you see here in central tx, visit tamu entomology’s online field guide here, and click on lepidoptera.

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4 thoughts on “hatch of the fritillary

  1. Wow! You are the lucky butterfly watcher. I have seen bumble bee moltings at our place, but no chrysali. Remind me to tell you the chrysalis story from my childhood on our way to Buffa10!

    • bumble bee moltings… now there’s some interesting evidence of a tiny but sweet life… can’t wait to hear your chrysalis story! and i’m very much looking forward to exploring buffa10 with you!

  2. You are so observant; I imagine there must be a chrysalis or two in my garden but I never see them, let alone manage to follow the progress. Wonderful photo series and amazing markings on the wings. (Your weekend bag is pretty amazing, too!)

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