A Monarch Caterpillar Hangs down the Milkweed's Edge
Caption: A monarch caterpillar hangs down the droopy tip of a common milkweed leaf.
I hope you enjoy the contrast of the brightly striped monarch again the earthly colored background. This was one of my 5th-instar caterpillars and shortly after this he transformed to the next phase of monarch butterfly metamorphosis...the monarch chrysalis.
When a caterpillar is ready to change, he will find an object to hang upside down from, like the underside of a leaf. However, in my 25 years of raising monarchs I have only seen one chrysalis in the wild...and that was on the trunk of a large oak.
I have no idea where the caterpillars from our milkweed patch crawl off to and how many survive. My gut tells me not many, and that's why I try to take in the majority I come across each summer.
Camera: Nikon D60 with 18-55mm Zoom lens.
Caterpillar Facts: Each developmental stage of the caterpillar is referred to as in instar. The fifth and final instar features the caterpillar at its most monstrous, a whopping 25-45 millimeters long. Monarch Caterpillar Edge back to Caterpillar Photos
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