butterflies stuck in chrysalis

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  • #12931

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    This summer I’ve had the unfortunate experience of finding several of my monarchs fully formed but "stuck" in their chyrsallis. They start to come out and then don’t progress. At first we thought I thought they had died, but when i remove them for disposal I see that they are still moving. By this time they have dried with crumpled wings. Does anyone know what causes this and what I can do to prevent it?

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  • #17211

    zoe9
    Participant

    This is a really interesting post because I always thought my butterflies had picked a nice day to hatch out if it’s lovely and sunny (as opposed to wet and windy) but I wasn’t even thinking about what the hot sun might be doing to their chrysalis. It makes perfect sense though now that I am thinking about it, particularly if they have problems, meanwhile their chrysalis is quickly drying out making it even harder for them, so this is very good to know!
    As for ‘extraction’ of guys having problems I use tweezers too and the success rate is pretty good if I get to them quickly enough. The other day a girl hatched but a piece of her chrysalis was stuck to her head like a helmet. When I looked more closely I realised her proboscis was stuck in there. Yikes ! So I brought her in and put a drop of water onto the stuck bit to loosen it and then I held the piece of chyrsalis with my tweezers and let her do the extraction. Worked a treat and her proboscis wasn’t damaged at all as she then had a lovely big drink of sugar water before being released.

    #17207

    Swansong
    Participant

    bcjenk, just read posts again, sorry, I should have mentioned a thanks for your moisture tips …so thanks : ).

    Swansong

    #17206

    Swansong
    Participant

    Good tips Hotgecko about the moisture. Never thought of that, and most certainly keep that in mind.. I use 2 pair of tweezers if I comeup against one that I have to extract out of its casing. This indeed is a very very tricky task, and much more so if they have a “stuck” leg or antennae or some other extremity.. I might just add though that in my experience, I’ve found that the more you interfere with them, (in this case it absolutely cant be helped and you do help with the thought that theres nothing to lose anywayz) the longer it takes for them to pump the fluid(???) into their wings. Ive had them successfully “grow” their wings which has taken 2 hours to complete, and where the process hasn’t started until at least 1/2 an hour after theyve hatched….umm well I wont say hatched in this case, but extracted. Typically though, it is wise under normal circumstances to assume that if they havn’t started the process by 10 mins, you’d be starting to wonder.

    If I see any chrysalis’ anywhere near the sun, I move them away, especially if they are near to hatching, so they have a chance to get organized before the sun dries those all important wings.

    Swansong

    #17203

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    in my limited experiences (3 years) of raising bflys I have found that this summer is harder on the hatching bfly. if the chrys. is about to hatch out with the full sun shining down they, bflys, have about 1 minute to escape their chrys. untill it starts to dry and curl. My two tools of use with this hazard are, 1,small soft bristle paint brush… 2 cuticle tool… step 1 use brush with water to moisten the chrys. this makes it supple again. step 2 use cuticle tool to ease under the chrys. without digging into bfly to help ease the bfly out of the chrys. much care is needed around the wings. If your bfly has plenty of movement and strength then a final use of the paint brust with water over the wings lightly should encourge your bflys to fill their wings. If their wings don’t grow within 10 minutes then they won’t make it. I have saved many bflys with this method.

    #17102

    bcjenk
    Participant

    When breeding birds (canaries) inside it is necessary to spray the eggs a couple of times before they hatch to make sure the membrane inside the shell doesn’t dry and toughen. If it does ,it can be impossible for the chick to free itself. In the wild, the hen would dampen her feathers while out foraging, transferring the moisture to the eggs.
    I think the same could apply to chrysallis when kept inside. I would suggest a fine mist spray every couple of days using rain or filtered water that has been left to come to room temperature. Outside they would be moistened with dew, but it is very dry inside.
    Hope this helps. Bryan.

    #17057

    CathMitchell
    Participant

    There is really nothing you can do – it’s nature’s way. If you happen to be right there when they start to hatch and see that things are not going according to schedule you can use something blunt to help ease them out but taking care that they don’t fall on to their very heavy damp wings. Good luck.

    #16452

    Gilly
    Participant
    #16451

    Gilly
    Participant

    Hi Lynxchat,
    I had this at the end of last summer/going into winter. Upsetting. Could be disease, or temperatures… I think there is another thread on this topic if you look about.

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