Gulf Fritillary Emergence

A few weeks ago we caught 3 Gulf Fritillary caterpillars off of our passion flower plants. Within a few days they were in their chysillis. The last one we were able to actually witness the process. I guess I thought it was more gradual, but after hanging upside down overnight and changing colors a bit, he still looked very much like an upside down caterpillar. But during lunch we saw this whitish color sort of moving up this body and his spines going along with it until it reached the top and the spines fell off. Very different from the cabbage worms.
But on Saturday morning 2 of the chysillises were black and hanging straight down. We missed the first one, saw him just after emerging, still wrinkled.
Just before lunch I walked past and saw the head of the second one wiggling. So they boys came running and we finally got to watch the entire emergence. They were so excited. And if my blind videography skills were any good I would have got it on video. They were amazed how it could fit in such a small space and how quickly it's wings stretched out.
The second one was a flier from the start. We had trouble keeping him on our hands to get to the door. Not that the boys were in any hurry to let them go. But Cohen had the job of taking him out. He didn't stay on his finger very long.
Soon he fluttered up to his ear.
And crawled all the way up to his head. (Don't they have beautiful coloring!)
And finally onto his face.

This morning the third was black and straight. We missed it coming out too. But did get a lot more pictures before sending him out to the cosmos- which seem to be their favorites.

Somehow I think that next spring/summer we will be bringing in every single caterpillar we find.


  1. The pictures of the butterfly on Cohen's ear and face are great. What an awesome experience. And yes, I think you'll be parenting every caterpillar you find next year...better add on to the house...

  2. Wow. I can't wait for our moths to come out of their cocoons now....but we have to wait until next spring! They overwinter in their cocoons!

    Those were beautiful pictures, lady, absolutely beautiful.

  3. Those are STUNNING Sarah! WOW! I dont' think we have any beautiful butterflies around here, but I may just plant a butterfly garden next year to see if we can attract some. Those are truly amazing! Beautiful pictures.


  4. HI! I found your blog through a long line of others. I noticed your blog title, and it was familiar to me. I'm a homeschooling mom of three boys! I love the butterfly pics. What an amazing experience! Boys are beautiful, and I love the stories we get to experience and share. I'll check back!

    ~ Tami

  5. Wow, your pictures are awesome! What a neat thing to experience with your sons.

  6. When butterflies attack! EEk!

    Very, very pretty.

  7. A friend forwarded your blog on to me, and I am so pleased that she did!

    We have hatched these caterpillars as well, but I couldn't find the name for them.

    I am enjoying reading your blog, but honestly feeling rather inadequate! (big smile) You have some of the most interesting ideas, I can't wait to try out a few for ourselves.