The queen butterflies are visiting our desert milkweed plants again.
The female queens are laying eggs on the flower buds, which are apparently a favorite food of the caterpillars.
The eggs are often laid in pairs.
Today they've started to turn dark. Does that mean they are going bad?
No, it means the eggs are going to hatch soon...
...into one of these caterpillars, which will turn...
...into one of these beauties!
For photographs of a queen butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, check this previous post.
One of the queen caterpillars from two weeks ago formed a chrysalis.
After being beige for about two weeks, the chrysalis turned black.
We could see the pattern of the wings inside. Later in the afternoon:
We took it outside to finish pumping up its wings.
Is there anything more beautiful than a freshly emerged butterfly?
Wishing you all the best.
The desert milkweed is starting to bloom, which brings the queen butterflies.
Scientists have speculated that the fancy patterns on the edges of butterfly wings may look like caterpillars. What do you think? (The idea is that birds will peck at the edges of the wings, allowing the butterfly to escape.)