May 14, 2004
This photo shows the Black Swallowtails that are now pupating, or changing from a caterpillar to a chrysalis, at the Susquehanna Butterfly Farm. The color of the chrysalis depends upon the background color. Note the brown chrysalis on the dark twig and the green chrysalis that formed on parsley foliage and was moved for comparison. These changing camouflage colors can be very effective in hiding the chrysalis from predators. The photo also shows a caterpillar that has prepared to shed its skin for the last time to reveal the chrysalis. The caterpillar attaches itself to the surface with both a silk pad and a single strand of silk that holds its body at an angle rather than hanging straight down like most butterfly chrysalises.