monarch midwifery: day 13!

Hatch day! Got outside at about 5:20 am. Just me, a cup of tea and my iPhone. Right after 6 a.m., the monarch crysalis started to open. The stupid camera couldn’t seem to focus on the right thing, but you can just make out the split starting from the bottom…

monarch midwife_1: crysalis starting to open!




















Seconds later she popped out!

monarch midwife: moments out of the crysalis




















Note the tiny wings and the huge abdomen. Over the next hour and a half, Bix and David and I watched as she hung there pumping fluid from the thorax into her wings…

monarch midwife 3




















You can see her wings gradually grow while her abdomen skinnifies, all Jenny Craiglike…

monarch midwife 4



















monarch midwife 5



















monarch midwife 6





















Then she opened her wings. I could barely fit her in the shot!

monarch midwife: the wings finally open




















Scarcely over two hours after she began her transformation from pupa to butterfly, our baby took her first flight…



This evening I discovered the newborn fluttering around our sumacs, so she’s still here. Hopefully she’s enjoying our butterfly buffet before she heads south.


Addendum #1:

After watching Godzilla vs. The Thing  (also known as Godzilla vs. Mothra) last night, Bix and I dubbed our magical monarch “Butt-thra” in deference to our favorite winged monster, Mothra…

a shot of mothra from last night’s movie













Addendum #2:

Bix requests that you join us for a song before you go, okay?


FYI, If you’re not familiar with the Singing Science series by Motivation Records, check it out. Fantastic and fun. (Space Songs and the two Nature records are our favorites.)

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8 Responses to “monarch midwifery: day 13!”

  1. jc says:

    pretty cool
    hopefully she (you sure?) does not become lunch for that mantid

    “Butt-thra”? Really, did you guys even TRY to suppress the giggles?

  2. Brook says:

    nope, no giggle suppression here. we are all 7-year-olds at heart. :)

  3. Graham says:

    Awesome!!! But… where were the princesses?…

  4. Brook says:

    i am the princess, duh.

  5. Wendy says:

    So cool! We are learning the song so we can sing with Bix.

  6. Brook says:


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