Cate; Chrysalis question

butrfly at butrfly at
Sat Jan 30 13:38:01 EST 1999

Cate wrote:
> I have an overwintering spicebush swallowtail chrysalis. What factors are
> necessary for this chrysalis to transform into a butterfly?             

   Some species, such as the N.A. swallowtails, will produce a generation
that is meant to overwinter in the chrysalis stage. A guideline, and not 
gospel, is generally they need 40 days of below 40 degree temperature
to facilitate the transformation. Also chrysalis and cocoons kept indoors 
over the wintering period may suffer dehydration, depending on the ambient 
humidity of their situation. So humidity is important during this time.
Temperature is deciding factor at any stage of development. A few degrees 
can sometimes add or subtract days to final emergence. In many species the
photo periods are quite important to the timing.  So possibly your 
friends indoor temperature and/or light exposure did not replicate that 
natural incubator, the beautiful summer Florida climate. Altering any of 
the natural factors would effect the outcome.

Rick Mikula

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