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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Emerald Jewel on Copper Beech

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | July 16, 2015

Monarch butterflyWe listen to the rain patter against the roof of leaves of the wise old copper beech tree as campers and I munch lunch. The vast canopy gives the impression of a complete ceiling of wood and leaves, but campers are able to look closely and discover something remarkably unique.

Can you spot it in this photograph?

Emerald Jewel on Copper Beech

In the lower right hand corner there is a dab of smooth lime dotted with gold on the branch. This is a monarch butterfly pupa or chrysalis. After spending 9 to 15 days forming wings and a straw-like tongue, eclosure (the escape of an adult butterfly from the chrysalis) occurs.  Usually within 24 hours before monarchs emerge, their black, orange, and white wing patterns are visible through the chrysalis shell. Be on the lookout!

Monarch Chrysalis

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