Pupae Care in a Butterfly Garden
A chrysalis or nympha is the pupal stage of butterflies. The term is derived from the metallic gold-coloration found in the pupae of many butterflies.
When the caterpillar is fully grown, it makes a button of silk which it uses to fasten its body to a leaf or a twig. Then the caterpillar's skin comes off for the final time. Under this old skin is a hard skin called a chrysalis.
Because chrysalides are often showy and are formed in the open, they are the most familiar examples of pupae. Most chrysalides are attached to a surface by a Velcro-like arrangement of a silken pad spun by the caterpillar, usually cemented to the underside of a perch, and the cremastral hook or hooks protruding from the rear of the chrysalis or cremaster at the tip of the pupal abdomen by which the caterpillar fixes itself to the pad of silk.
Newly emerged butterflies must be able to hang high enough so that the tips of its wings will not touch the ground when they are fully expanded. If a new butterfly does not have enough vertical and horizontal space for its wings to expand and dry, its wings will not form correctly and the butterfly will not be able to fly.
© Istvan Kadar Photography