How to Raise and Release Your Own Monarchs: Release Day!

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A couple of weeks ago my lovely caterpillars morphed into their chrysalis stage.  Click on these links to read the story how I got them, and their chrysalis stage here and here.

Do you know the difference between a cacoon and chrysalis?

A cocoon is a covering made of silk that encloses a pupa, an actual covering of a pupa.  A chrysalis is the pupa of a butterfly – it is actually a kind of pupa and is not a covering.

You can see now that “Fatty McGee” (that name is so inappropriate now!  I need to metamorphose the name too!) is the one ready to stretch her wings in full butterfly form.  This was taken probably about a half hour before she popped out.  I did figure out that it is a female.  Go here and you can see pics of the difference.

Finally, the debut as a full grown, mature, metamorphosed butterfly!!

I went outside and decided to just put her on one of my mums.  It stayed there for awhile – a couple of hours actually until her wings were ready to fly.

I know my daughter is too young to appreciate this activity.  While I was trying to take pics, she was trying to eat the mums and dirt.  🙂  I’m sure this will be a fun annual event though in the White household for years to come!!

I remember actually when my husband and I were first dating, we went to an imax theater and watched Amazing Journeys which shows some amazing footage of migrating animals.  It would be a fun family friendly film to watch – especially if you did decide to raise and release your own butterfly.  There were scenes in the movie showing where the monarchs travel to in Mexico for the winter.  Ever since watching it, I’ve totally wanted to go there and see them!  Now I’ve helped my little butterfly survive to make that long journey.  I wonder if she actually has left for that trip yet.

“Middle Man” is about to pop out at any second now – literally!  We are actually going out of town for the night, and might have to take the vase with us so its not stuck in there too long when he/she emerges.  🙂

4 Responses to How to Raise and Release Your Own Monarchs: Release Day!

  1. A butterfly kit has always been one of my favorite children’s birthday gifts! Your homemade version is even better!

  2. I have never done this. Your butterfly is so beautiful! What a great family tradition! I am going to talk to my husband about starting this ourselves!!

  3. I have never done this either, but it sounds like a wonderful idea! I love butterflies and think their migration and life cycle is just fascinating. I’ll have to check out the movie sometime.