From Caterpillar to Butterfly

In the spring of 2015, Art found some butterfly eggs on his garden patch of stinging nettle.  He set up a mesh enclosure in his house and added some stinging nettle stems and leaves in a jar with water to provide food, and then collected two of the eggs — he left the rest to grow naturally.  [There are instructions on how this is done here.  Be sure to release the adults back where you got the eggs.]

Over time, he photographed the caterpillars, cocoons and the emerged butterflies.  Here are some of the pictures.

Red Admiral caterpillar

The caterpillars eat along the edge, making a larger and larger hole. May 5, 2015

Red Admiral caterpillar in leaf

The caterpillars roll a leaf to provide shelter from predators. May 5, 2015

Caterpillar

The caterpillar eats ferociously. May 6, 2015

Chrysalis

Each caterpillar has formed a lovely, patterned chrysalis. Photo taken May 14, 2015

Red Admiral butterfly

The adult butterfly has emerged. May 19, 2015

Red Admiral butterfly

With wings closed, we can see the underside of the butterfly’s wings. May 19, 2015

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