This… doesn’t look promising…

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  • #12934


    About a week ago I purchased a Monarch caterpillar (aka Alphonse Capone because of his little black and white stripes) from a butterfly conservatory. He came with a little milkweed plant to eat and all was well. He moved around alot, ate healthily, and all that jazz. Yesterday he became a chrysalis and everything seemed normal. It was a pale jade color and that was that.

    But this morning I saw that the top of the chrysalis has become a orangish brown color, but the bottom was still jade. Now the bottom is an almost black color (it’s now evening). I know that they start to become transparent when they’re going to hatch soon, but he just became a pupae! When I called the conservatory, they didn’t really sound like they knew what they were talking about, and guessed that it was just part of the metamorphosis, but I’m not convinced. Things don’t look good for Al from where I’m standing. :( Has anybody seen something like this before?


    Here are some really awful quality photos, but hopefully they’ll provide some sort of insight.

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  • #16464


    This from a friend in America…

    I don’t know how such business transactions work, but it is obviously diseased/parasitized, etc. Perhaps your friend can contact the seller of the caterpillar kit and they will replace it, perhaps even with a chrysalis rather than a caterpillar? They may have some disclaimer about not knowing it was sick, but I’m sure anyone involved in this wants a customer to have a happy end result and would do their best to resolve it.

    That doesn’t help much, does it Steph… but it is a good point.

    The chrysalis is definitely diseased or parasitised, so I would keep it somewhere quite sterile – you don’t want to transmit that virus or disease etc to any future pupae you might have. Take some really good photographs of it to show the organisation you purchased it from.

    Hope this helps. Please let us know how you get on.





    Hello Steph

    Things don’t sound good. It could be disease, it could be spray… it could be a host of other things.

    I think that you are probably in the US or Canada – and we’re in New Zealand. I will copy your email and send it on to some friends in those countries, and see what they have to say, and post the responses here.

    Very sad for you Steph. If you let me know where you are, I will see if someone more local than us (in New Zealand) can help you.


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