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Saving Pupa

>> Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today was a quiet day at work, but after work was fantastic. I went to my favorite beach, Brewers Bay, out by the university and came across something very exciting... I was looking at all the lovely monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed and lo and behold, PUPAE. Pupa is a fancy way of saying the third stage of an insects life. In the butterfly life-cycle, this is known as the chrysalis. It is a cocoon for moths... well there are a few exceptions, but I digress. These were lovely monarch chrysalises. Being the butterfly defender that I am, I had to take them to save them from unknown fate. We are actively breeding butterflies in St. Thomas, so we try to save the pupae (plural for pupa) in case they fall off the plant, get eaten, etc. Aren't they lovely? See the beautiful gold crown? That's why they are called monarchs! I got quite the haul. Did you see how many were on one leaf? So now I will mount them since they need to hang and keep them till they emerge and release them. I am so excited!


doggybloggy October 26, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

that is so cool, I remember seeing them (the monarchs) in a tree in Malibu and there were so many they looked like the leaves of the tree, pulsating orange and black leaves...

Wendy October 26, 2008 at 8:29 PM  

Wow! That's why I like coming here. You have such neat things to show - especially when all our butterflies are gone and the earth is beginning its rest period.
Your pupa looks almost like a green and gold pendant! I'd wear it around my neck (well, not the real thing, of course).

insanemommy October 26, 2008 at 8:52 PM  

You so love what you do! It shows all over your face. Beautiful.

Mimi October 27, 2008 at 7:56 AM  

@ doggybloggy... monarchs can be quite impressive. It is a shame that there aren't as many as there used to be. I'm trying to do what I can! :D

Mimi October 27, 2008 at 7:58 AM  

@ wendy... the monarch chrysalis is truly stunning. I have people ask me if they are real all the time. They do look like a piece of jade and gold. I am making a little video to show how to make a temporary emerging cage so everyone can help save these important creatures.

Mimi October 27, 2008 at 7:59 AM  

@ insanemommy... I really REALLY do. I don't know how my husband puts up with some of the oddities I ask him to help me with, but he always obliges and we both learn something in the process. I am a lucky gal.

Q October 28, 2008 at 8:16 AM  

Dear Mimi,
We are lucky to know you too! WOW!!
I love your job and the way you love the butterflies. Makes me want to cry....knowing you are caring for the butterflies helps me beleive in humanity.
So very exciting.

Mimi October 28, 2008 at 12:37 PM  

@ Sherry... we are a select few but we are out there. It is funny how people you have never met in person have the closest links to someone, but every time I see your lovely photos I feel the same way.

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