Chrysalis failure and success

I think bittster was right: holes in the chrysalis aren’t good. I have given up hope that this one will emerge.

crack in chrysalis

The chrysalis is getting more and more brittle, and I can see through a small slit that there is something inside, but it doesn’t look like it’s alive.

All the close-up, watchful examination of the site did reveal a successful one nearby, though. At first I thought it might be a dragonfly exuviae (Scrabble word!), based on the ribbed appearance of the end near the stem, but I think it’s just a bit too far away from the pond for this to be likely. It has the thin threads attaching it to the stem, typical of a chrysalis. Also, it seems that exuviae generally survive more intact than this; if it was an exuviae, it has taken quite a beating.

dragonfly exuviae or spent chrysalis?

exuviae or chrysalis?

At any rate, it’s good to know that one of them made it. Wish I could have been there to see it, but maybe next time.

Anticipation

Today I noticed that holes have appeared in the swallowtail chrysalis left on my bronze fennel stalks.

butterfly chrysalis with holes

The chrysalis, which had been an electric green color earlier in the summer, now looks brown and desiccated. I hope it won’t be long before it splits open and we see a new butterfly emerge.

More swallowtails on the way

I found a swallowtail chrysalis on the bronze fennel they’ve devoured all summer.

swallowtail butterfly chrysalis

About one inch long, the length from the end of my thumb to the knuckle, it is held off the fennel stalk by two thin threads. I keep an eye on it every day.

It’s worth remembering to look carefully as you clean up the garden in late summer and early fall. I’m relieved I didn’t throw this into the compost pile. Instead, it remains at the end of my front walk, where I pass by it several times a day. Dragonflies perch above it, perhaps, like me, anticipating the big show.

blue dragonfly, species unknown